Lovers and the Despot: Cannan and Adam Docu of Bizarre Romance

Magnolia Pictures will open Robert Cannan and Ross Adam’s documentary, THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT, which premiered in the World Documentary Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Fest.

THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT will be available On Demand, on Amazon Video and iTunes, and will continue to rollout nationally.

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 twists of fate. After the two find themselves kidnapped by the North Korean regime, they are forced to play along with a bizarre filmmaking project led by super-fan cinephile Kim Jong-il.

Enduring torture, imprisonment and surveillance, their romance is rekindled. They realize that escape is only possible through filmmaking, but the smallest mistake in plans could cost them their lives.

This film noir offers archive footage of the era that includes rare clandestine audio recordings of Jong-il discussing his plot for a cinematic paradise. The tapes deliver a chilling glimpse into the psychology of the North Korean dictatorship and what happens when art, love, and megalomania collide.