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BBC Storyville – North Korean Kidnap: The Lovers and the Despot (2017)

BBC Storyville 2017 The Lovers and the Despot

The bizarre and sensational story of the despot who stole a film star. In 1978, North Korea’s movie-loving dictator Kim Jong-il arranged for the Hong Kong kidnap of South Korea’s leading lady, Choi Eun-hee. Choi had left South Korea in search of a new start. Her marriage to Shin Sang-ok, her long-term collaborator and one of the country’s most successful filmmakers, had collapsed when Choi found out about his affair and second family with a younger actress.

After her disappearance Shin, retracing her last known steps, also fell into the hands of Kim’s kidnappers. Kim Jong-il had his prize. The golden couple of Korean cinema made movies at his command for seven years until, on a trip to Vienna, they eluded their minders and made a break for the American Embassy.

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