The Hill of Secrets

The Hill of Secrets

South Korea | 2022 | 122 min. | Lee Ji-eun

In this well-observed drama, a young girl (Moon Seung-ah, SIFF 2022’s Voice of Silence), ashamed of her family’s working-class status, hides who they are and strives for a more conservative future. Maybe running for class president will help.

Fifth grader Myung-eun (played by the talented young Moon Seung Ah) wants the respect of her peers and the admiration of her teacher. She gets a taste of both when she becomes class president and successfully begins to implement her fellow classmates' ideas. But she will protect her pride at any expense. This includes fabricating a fake traditional family at school to hide her real family's less-than-conventional circumstances at home. Each decision she makes to keep up the ruse has radiating consequences until the whole city is involved. In this confident feature debut by Lee Ji-eun, Moon delivers a deeply layered performance of an immature girl trying to establish her self-identity while still developing her sense of morality. She plays a character in contrast to her role in last year's SIFF festival screening, Voice of Silence, where she served as that film's moral compass. Anyone who can remember the emotional struggle to grow up in their preteen years will be able to empathize with Myung-eun's clumsy efforts to be the student, daughter, and community member she strives to be.

SuJ'n Chon

  • Original Language Title: 비밀의 언덕
  • Director: Lee Ji-eun
  • Principal Cast: Moon Seung-a, Jang Sun, Lim Sun-woo, Kang Gil-woo, Jang Jae-hee
  • Country: South Korea
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 122 min.
  • Producer: Park Hyun-suk
  • Screenplay: Lee Ji-eun
  • Cinematographers: Lee Ju-hwan
  • Editors: Won Chang-jae
  • Music: Yonrimog
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: PyeongChang International Peace Film Festival 22 (International Competition Jury Prize)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Korean
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: Finecut Co., Ltd