Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Secret Sunshine 2007


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



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


Cho Yong-kyu


Kim Hyun


Christian Basso


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


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


Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival 2007


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