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Secret Sunshine (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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New interview with Lee
On the Set of “Secret Sunshine,” a video piece featuring interviews with actors Jeon Do-yeon and Song Kang-ho, as well as behind-the-scenes footage
U.S. theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dennis Lim
Top Customer Reviews
A young widow (Do-yeon) and her son relocate to her late husband's hometown Miryang (Secret Sunshine). Starting fresh, she starts to tutor piano and is assisted by a potential new suitor. The details of her new world are expertly showcased and there is a realistic flavor to the scenes of every day life in this small town. But just as she has settled into a daily routine, tragedy strikes. After an intense sequence of events, she is left devastated and bereft. I know many people will reveal more of the plot than I will, but I think it's best to let the narrative unravel without expectation. Seeking solace, she throws herself into spirituality and uses the church to fill the emptiness of her life. The need to forgive and the need to hate do battle within her soul and the last hour of the picture is a war of emotion. Is there a way to reconcile these divergent feelings and is the church a help or a hindrance?Read more ›
Secret Sunshine is one such film. In it a woman experiences a set of major events that send her spiraling into a psychological downfall, then up through enlightenment, then, finally, she falls deeper and deeper until true enlightenment is possible.
I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen this yet, so I'll keep it brief. The woman loses her husband and then moves to his hometown with her son, hoping to start over. Once there she is greeted by a local neighbor who tells her that the only way to be truly happy is to find God, join the church, and become a religious citizen. She is hesitant, explaining that she doesn't believe in such things.
A few more things happen (I'm refraining from saying for spoilers sake) and she decides to join the church, finding God and weeping in an emotional scene (the actress does a wonderful job here, as well as throughout the entire film) which leads to her apparent happiness.
But not everything is as it seems...and when the woman decides to apply one of God's teachings to her daily life, the results aren't what she had expected. She falls into darkness once again, this time at a frightening speed.
What happens after this can only be witnessed by watching the film, since I don't want to give away any more.
Secret Sunshine is a masterpiece of psychological cinema. It takes a step back and examines how Religion can affect a human life, both positively and negatively, and the film isn't afraid of pulling punches. This is an emotionally draining film, but I found the ending to be truly enlightening.Read more ›
I wanted to give it five stars because of the riveting performances in this film (including a wonderful performance by Kang-ho Song... you know him as Mr. Vengeance most likely). All in all the acting is a delight. The supporting casts' performances are as entertaining as they are baffling and cynical.
The actual film is a mixed bag though. Mainly because of the middle, where the film really drags a bit. It seems that with a little extra editing and a few cuts, the director could have kept the pace. But it takes a sudden and obvious lull, one that I think it out of character with the rest of the film. Without giving away anything major, this is the point where she is involved with the religious group. There is a bit of a spark during the prison scenes, then more lull. It picks up again around the time she plays the CD at the prayer meeting.
If the film had spent a little less time on the religious aspect in the middle, I might have given it five stars. But it's a collection of scenes that I think were too long to get the point across and slowed the plot progression too much.
Extras were sparse on the DVD release (not sure about the Blu-Ray). The booklet was nice with an essay, but was just a few pages. Nothing like some of the more notable Criterion releases.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this to be a well made and well acted film focusing on grief, loss, faith, and recovery. Nice portrayal of South Korean culture and the strong Christian population there,... Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Peter A. Johnson
Milyang is a town like anywhere else in South Korea.Its Chinese translation is "secret sunshine". Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine (2007) is a film about an average town,but its an... Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by technoguy
Jeon Do Yeon is second-to-none as an actress in my opinion, and this is the movie that proves it. The male lead, Song Kang Ho, does just as good a job as Ms. Jeon. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Hamilton Donald
Yesterday, I watched the 2007 Criterion Collection film "Secret Sunshine" by South Korean director Lee Chang-dong. Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Kurt H.
The product does not play on my DVD Player - it says that it is not compatible with this Country or territory. Read morePublished on June 2, 2013 by Jonathan Helmbold
The DVD disc of this movie was unplayble. Completely deteriorated. Luckily I had the earlier Korean version which played just fine. Shame on you Criterion.Published on April 1, 2013 by Fredericka
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