• The Lovers and the Despot (2016)

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Release Date: September 23rd, 2016

Not Yet Rated|1 hr 35 min

Plot Summary
After their glamorous romance ends, a famous director and actress are kidnapped by movie-obsessed dictator Kim Jong-il. Forced to play along with a bizarre filmmaking project, they get a second chance at love but only one chance at escape.

Cast: Choi Eun-hee

Director: Robert Cannan , Ross Adam

Genres: Documentary

Production Co: Tigerlily Films, Hellflower Film

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  • The visual textures of The Lovers and the Despot, edited by Jim Hession — and the Kim audio tapes — make for vibrant cinema. show more

  • You may harbor doubts as well, but the story on the whole appears to be true, and the integrity of the documentary suffers little, if at all, from its co-directors’ decision to illustrate some of the more extravagant aspects of the lovers’ journey with charmingly sleazy clips from commercial potboilers that Shin, who died in 2006, had made in South Korea. show more

  • Fascinating on personal, political and cinematic levels, the film resourcefully plumbs all sorts of resources, including secret tape recordings of Kim himself, but also omits certain aspects of the tale that would merely have added to its intrigue. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com