Secret Sunshine (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Secret Sunshine 2007

Mil-yang

Directed by Lee Chang-dong

A young mother is tested to the limits of spiritual endurance in this award-winning Korean drama. Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival. With Song Kang-ho.

South Korea In Korean with English subtitles
142 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope

Director

Screenplay

Lee Chang-dong. Based on a story by Yi Chong-jun

Photography

Cho Yong-kyu

Editor

Kim Hyun

Music

Christian Basso

With

Jeon Do-yeon
,
Song Kang-ho
,
Song Kang-ho
,
Kim Yeong-jae
,
Seon Jeong-yeob

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, Vancouver, London, Pusan 2007; Rotterdam 2008

Awards

Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival 2007

Elsewhere

The most admired Korean film of 2007 defies genre and synopsis. Its changing moods reflect the fortunes of the young mother at its centre as she repeatedly absorbs the impact of unforeseeable events. Actress Jeon Do-yeon's elucidation of her spiritual turmoil is incandescent. "Lee Chang-dong's (Oasis) movie possesses the fullness and complexity of a great novel, revealing new layers the deeper we move into it. It begins as the story of a recent widow and her young son adjusting to their new lives in a small town that suddenly, without warning, becomes a thriller and then a Bressonian study in human suffering. Lee guides Secret Sunshine through these switchblade reversals of comedy and despair, darkness and light with remarkable agility... Jeon Do-yeon fearlessly navigates the movie's turbulent emotional currents, slowly revealing the extraordinary inner strength and grace of a seemingly fragile, uncertain woman." — Scott Foundas