The Lovers and the Despot Movie

The Lovers and the Despot movie poster

Who's Involved:

Ross Adam, Robert Cannan

Rating: N/A

Runtime: 1 hr, 34 m

The Lovers and the Despot Plot: What's the story?

They were the Brangelina of ’70s South Korea—the romance between the debonair film director Shin Sang-ok and glamorous actress Choi Eun-hee took them to the heights of South Korean society. Fame took a toll on their love, but it also attracted unbelievable twists of fate. The two find themselves kidnapped by the North Korean regime, and they are forced to play along with a bizarre filmmaking project led by superfan cinephile Kim Jong-il. Enduring torture, imprisonment, and surveillance, their romance is rekindled, and they realize escape is only possible through filmmaking—but the smallest mistake in their plans could cost them their lives.

This film noir of the most twisted order is meticulously crafted with an analog-loving sensibility, offering incredible archive footage of the era that even includes rare clandestine audio recordings of Jong-il discussing his plot for a cinematic paradise. The tapes deliver a chilling yet fascinating glimpse into the psychology of the North Korean dictatorship and what happens when art, love, and megalomania collide.

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Crew and Production Credits: Who's making The Lovers and the Despot?

A look at the The Lovers and the Despot behind-the-scenes crew and production team.


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Production Timeline: When did the The Lovers and the Despot come together?

On or about May 31, 2016 • The film was in Completed status.

The Lovers and the Despot Release Date: When was it released?

The Lovers and the Despot was released in 2016 on Friday, September 23, 2016 in limited movie theaters. There were 16 other movies released on the same date, including The Magnificent Seven, Storks and Queen of Katwe.

Released; Now Playing Get Showtimes Buy Tickets

United States
September 23, 2016 Limited
September 23, 2016


Friday, September 23, 2016
Released; Watch Now! Buy | Rent Now

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