The Lovers and the Despot movie poster
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The Lovers and the Despot
The Lovers and the Despot movie poster

The Lovers and the Despot Movie Review

It would be a great honor. It would be a great honor to be seen as such a great talent that Kim Jong-il would kidnap you and keep you in North Korea for five years so you can make films the Supreme Leader is proud of.

In fact, the government has repeatedly informed me that due to my own greatness, I am at a medium risk of being stolen away to North Korea to write movie reviews.

It would be an honor.

In the documentary The Lovers and the Despot, the "true" story of two honored individuals--South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee and her ex-husband, an acclaimed director named Shin Sang-ok--is brought to light. I put "true" in quotation marks because in the film, it contends that these two individuals were scared for their lives and really just wanted to see their families again and not honored as most people would be.

Who needs families when you have the Supreme Leader himself?

The Lovers and the Despot is a truly engrossing doc, one that doesn't need to be fancy or narratively creative because its subject matter is just so unbelievable it has to be real (of course, in the scheme of weird North Korean stories, this one is very believable). While the movie isn't quite as zany or as disturbing as I was expecting, it still is a doc that deserves to be seen.

Kim Jong-il is no longer with us, but thank the late Supreme Leader that his legacy can continue in film.

The movie is now available on Digital HD.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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