A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.


Chang-dong Lee


Chang-dong Lee, Chung-Joon Lee (novel) (as Chong-jun Yi)
25 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Jeon Do-yeon ... Shin-ae Lee
Kang-ho Song ... Jong-chan Kim
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hye-jin Jang ... Park Myung-suk (as Hyae Jin Chang)
Yeong-jin Jo Yeong-jin Jo ... Doe-seop Park
Mi-hyang Kim Mi-hyang Kim ... Deaconess Kim
Yeong-jae Kim Yeong-jae Kim ... Min-ki Lee
Seo-hie Ko ... Bank Employee
Dong-yong Lee ... Taxi driver
Hee-joon Lee ... Outdoor Prayer Meeting Volunteer
Sung-min Lee ... Chef
Yoon-Hee Lee Yoon-Hee Lee ... Elder Kang
Kim Mi-Kyung
Myung-shin Park ... Female Missionary
Jung-yeop Seon Jung-yeop Seon ... Jun


When her husband passes away in an automobile accident,Shin-ae relocates down south to her late husband's hometown of Miryang. Despite her efforts to settle down, in this unfamiliar and "much too normal place, she finds that she can't quite fit in. Helping her out is Kim Jong-chan, a good-intentioned but bothersome bachelor, who owns a car repair shop. Life plods on. However, fate takes a vicious turn when Shin-ae loses her son in the most horrific way a mother could imagine. She turns to Christianity to relieve the pain in her heart, but when even this is not permitted, she wages a war against God. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Lee has said that he intentionally began the film with a shot of the sky and ended it with a shot of the ground See more »


References Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) See more »


Written by Christian Basso and Diego Chemes
Performed by Christian Basso
Published by Warner Chappell Latin
See more »

User Reviews

Secret Sunshine
30 December 2011 | by MartinTellerSee all my reviews

When I saw Lee Chang-dong's OASIS, my main problem with it was that the characters seemed calculated to behave in unexpected ways. Here, I have the same problem, but in reverse. After the pivotal moment of the film, everything that Shin-ae did made me think, "Oh, she's going to do THAT now?". It felt like someone running down a checklist of various reactions to grief, predictable, no surprises, no real insight. I didn't even really think Jeon Do-yeon's performance was that great, despite all the accolades. She does have her moments (the scene at the prison is a brilliant piece of facial expression) but other times I cringed a bit. I did like the relationship with the eager mechanic (Song Kang-ho, who seems to pop up in about half the Korean movies I watch) and also the teenage girl. And I liked how even-handed Lee is in his approach to religion, and how the film spends some time with that subject and then moves on. But mostly my reaction was merely lukewarm. Other people whose opinions I respect really like Lee's work, but I'm afraid I haven't found the appeal yet.

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South Korea



Release Date:

22 December 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Sunshine See more »

Filming Locations:

Miryang, South Korea


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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