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Rising Sun, Divided LandJapanese and South Korean Filmmakers$
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Kate Taylor-Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165853

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165853.001.0001

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Film Analysis

Film Analysis

Secret Sunshine


(p.91) Film Analysis
Rising Sun, Divided Land

Kate E. Taylor-Jones

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes Lee Chang-dong's film Secret Sunshine (Miryang, 2007), about a woman, Shin-ae, who moves with her small son to her late husband's hometown, Miryang, for a new start. The film contains no dramatic action sequences, visual trickery, or dramatic editing techniques. Instead, Lee offers a meditative and gentle approach to what is, in essence, a violent story. The people involved are ordinary members of society; Shin-ae is a young piano teacher and Jong-chang is a mechanic. They are unexceptional people who are caught up in a tragically exceptional situation; the kidnapping and murder of Shin-ae's child. Secret Sunshine also contains many of the developments that have marked modern-day South Korea, including the presence of Christianity as a key part of the modern nation. The film questions the motivations of certain individuals related to the Church and how there is no such thing as a quick and easy solution to emotional turmoil.

Keywords:   Korean film directors, Korean films, filmmakers, Lee Chang-dong, Secret Sunshine, Miryang, Christianity, church

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