The Lovers and The Despot is a sensational thriller romance documentary, which tells the story of young and ambitious South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and talented actress Choi Eun-hee who meet and fall in love in the post war Korea of the 1950s.
But in 1978 Choi divorces Shin and heads to Hong Kong to search out new business opportunities and is subsequently kidnapped by North Korean agents and taken to meet Kim Jong-il. A few months later, whilst retracing Choi’s last steps, Shin also finds himself kidnapped to North Korea. Following five years of imprisonment, they are eventually reunited by movie obsessed Kim Jong-il, who declares them his own filmmakers.
Having rekindled their love for each other, they plan their escape from North Korea, but not before producing 17 feature films for Kim and gaining his trust in the process. And then, finally, embarking on a daring escape plan.