The Lovers and the Despot Movie

The Lovers and the Despot movie poster

Who's Involved:

Robert Cannan, Ross Adam

Release Date:

Friday, September 23, 2016 (Limited)


Runtime: 1 hr, 34 m
Language: English

Plot: What's the story about?

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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Who stars in The Lovers and the Despot: Cast List

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Who's making The Lovers and the Despot: Crew List

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


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Production: What we know about The Lovers and the Despot?

Filming Timeline

  1. May 2016: The film was in Completed status.

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

The Lovers and the Despot was released in 2016 on Friday, September 23, 2016 (Limited release). There were 16 other movies released on the same date, including Storks, The Magnificent Seven and The Free World.

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Friday, September 23, 2016
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