The Lovers and the Despot – Film Review by Frank L.
Directed by Robert Cannan and Ross Adam
Available on We Are Colony
There is not much in the public domain about North Korea which is susceptible to independent verification. The story told by Cannan and Adam on its face seems to verge on fantasy but probably the truth is stranger than fiction. It appears that in 1978 Kim Jong II, who was to succeed his father in 1994 as dictator of North Korea, was an avid cineaste. He wished to improve the quality of North Korean movies. He admired the films of South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his chic, film star wife Choi Eun-hee. However Shin had bust up with his wife and gone bankrupt. Kim lured Shin to North Korea and then effectively kidnapped his wife. In North Korea they made at Kim’s diktat seventeen movies before on a supervised trip to Vienna they managed to escape to the American Embassy. It is all cloak and dagger stuff.
There are tapes of the voice of Kim Jong II, contemporary interviews with Choi and various individuals who were aware of these events at the time. Unfortunately Shin has died. To keep the element of the unlikely prominent, it appears that Kim Jong II was hugely impressed by the film Titanic, so much so that he had made a North Korean epic to rival it! For those interested in the unlikely, this is a movie that ticks all the boxes.
Categories: Header, Movie Review, Movies
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