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.
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