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The Lovers & the Despot (2016)

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The story of the South Korean actor, Choi Eun-hee, and her ex-husband and film director, Shin Sang-ok, who were individually kidnapped and reunited by dictator and film fan Kim Jong-il to force them to develop North Korea's film industry.

Directors:

Ross Adam, Robert Cannan
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eun-hie Choi Eun-hie Choi ... Herself
Paul Courtenay Hyu Paul Courtenay Hyu ... Shin Sang-ok
Sang-ok Shin Sang-ok Shin ... Himself (voice)
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Storyline

In 1970s South Korea, actor Choi Eun-hee and her ex-husband, film director Shin Sang-ok, were divorced, estranged and both struggling with stalled careers. Unfortunately, both their lives seemed changed forever when they were individually kidnapped in 1978 by their biggest fan, Kim Jong-il, despot of North Korea. With persuasion and brute force, the movie obsessed Kim planned to use them to develop the Hermit Kingdom's film industry and get it out of its mindless propaganda mentality. Through the words of Choi, their family, associates and US intelligence personnel, you will follow the story of the bizarre slavery of this couple even as they rediscovered their love and secretly gathered evidence of the dictator's crimes. All the while, they struggled to play along with the world's most dangerous film geek as they desperately planned their escape. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They were kidnapped by their biggest fan.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

UK

Language:

Korean | English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Liebenden und der Diktator See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,925, 25 September 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$55,180, 30 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Forty-First (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Korean Spring Song
Performed by The Kim Sisters
Words and Music by Hai Fong Kim
Published by Combine Music Corp, EMI Apriil Music Inc.
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting historical tale
17 March 2017 | by EmerencianoSee all my reviews

For those who like to research about history and culture of different countries, North Korea is still a big mystery. While reading about the Kim dynasty the other day, I discovered little is known about Kim Jong- un, the "Supreme Leader" of the country. It is scaring to know this these days of internet and open information.

If NK government can do this today, we figure out how easy it was to do this decades ago. And it is on this idea 'The Lovers and the Despot' focus on. It was a time when Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, had absolute power over North Koreans and, among other things, used cinema to spread the idea North Korea should be an example of success and democracy.

Seeing this, watch "The Lovers and the Despot" and learn a bit more about this mysterious country.


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