The new documentary “The Lovers and the Despot” follows the romance between film director Shin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee, the “Brangelina” of ’70s South Korea. Though they were a glamorous couple, fame eventually took its toll on their relationship, but it also resulted in a strange twist of fate. The two eventually were kidnapped by the North Korean regime and forced to play along with a bizarre filmmaking project courtesy of dictator Kim Jong-il, a big fan of the Shin and Choi. Amidst their imprisonment and torture, the two eventually rekindled their romance and realize that making movies is their only way to escape the ugly reality of their fate. Check out the poster above.
“The Lovers & The Despot” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It also screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Sarasota International Film Festival, and the Seattle International Film Festival. It’s directed by Ross Adam and Robert Cannon; though this is Adam’s first film, Cannon previously directed another documentary entitled “Three Miles North of Molkom,” about Ängsbacka, a 21st century playground for adults deep in the lakeside forests of Sweden. Magnolia Pictures will distribute the film.
“The Lovers and the Despot” will be in theaters and on demand/iTunes on September 23rd.