Secret Sunshine is a 2007 South Korean film directed by acclaimed novelist (and former Minister of Culture) Lee Chang-dong. It is loosely based on The Story of a Bug by Lee Cheong-jun. The film stars Jeon Do-yeon in a performance the likes of which no human has seen before or is likely to see again. It also stars the talented Song Kang-ho (who can almost literally play any role in any language). Secret Sunshine is ultimately about the raw and devastating power of grief, the promise of faith, and the creeping madness that threatens us all.
Jeon Do-yeon’s performance is one for the ages. And as silent as many have been about the performance of Song Kang-ho, as amazing as it was. The film is about grief, and the actors portray a humans struggling under the weight of grief and constant waiting for hope or salvation or light or an end to the pain. The movie does not give convenient answers (that would be dishonest), instead what you will get is a connection, a sincere one, to the pain of another human being. Maybe the point of the film and the story (maybe the point of grief) is that it is easier to carry the pain if you share the load. And that’s what the movie does, we connect to these characters and it is easier for us and for them.