The Lovers and the Despot (2016) Movie Script

Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(muffled cheering)
(siren wailing)
(Indistinct chatter)
Spokesman: Ladies and
gentlemen of the press...
Man: Out of the way!
Come on, down.
Give somebody else a break.
I have been provided
with the following
background information.
Mr. Shin and Miss Choi are both
nationals of South Korea
and are married.
Mr. Shin was
a well-known director
and Miss Choi
a famous actress
in the South Korean
film industry.
Some eight years ago, Miss Choi
appeared in North Korea
after having been in Hong Kong.
Subsequently, Mr. Shin
travelled to Hong Kong
and later appeared
in North Korea.
Today's conference is held
at the request
of Mr. Shin and Miss Choi.
The Shin couple will have
an opening statement
after I have finished my...
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(indistinct chatter)
(camera shutter clicks)
Narrator: Kim Jong-il's
leadership of Korea.
Mount Paektu,
the mountain that chimes
with the history
of the Korean revolution,
carries the great history
of the leadership of Korea
By Kim Jong-il.
Inheriting the qualities
of president Kim Il-sung,
a peerless hero of Korea,
and Kim Jong-suk,
a woman hero of the
anti-Japanese revolution,
Kim Jong-il has led
the Korean revolution
for several decades.
In the mid-1960s,
when the situation in Korea
and the world was complicated,
Kim Jong-il started working
at the central committee
of the workers' party of Korea,
the general staff
of the Korean revolution.
Whenever the us imperialists
resorted to high-handedness
with regard to Korea,
he'd put them to shame,
displaying the wisdom
and mettle of an
iron-willed commander.
In the 1960s,
I was working
in a military-intelligence
organization in South Korea.
But I didn't have any connection
with the film business.
I was just in the audience.
My job was to interrogate
North Korean defectors
and arrest North Korean
espionage agents.
In the 1970s,
the North Korean Workers' Party
recognized Kim Jong-il
as his father's heir apparent.
So he started to build up
his own power base.
During that period, there was
a very severe power struggle,
to protect Kim Jong-il's power
and his succession to power
after his father.
Many, many people
were killed and purged.
All of them are brainwashed.
All of them are brainwashed.
But the interrogator's job
is to crack him.
To make him understand
the true story, the true facts,
of what's going on.
(man sings in Korean)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
Myung-yim: (speaking Korean)
Interviewer: Can you describe
what you heard on the tapes?
Because you told us before
that you have heard
Kim Jong-il's voice,
and not many people have.
I cannot do that.
Interviewer: I know you can't
explain how you heard it,
but can you explain that
you knew they were real?
And that this was
really Kim Jong-il?
I cannot tell you
the circumstances.
Interviewer: Yes, of course.
Okay, let's... Let's start.
I mentioned five tapes
that were released
to the South Korean authorities
and I recognized
Kim Jong-il's voice.
(scratchy interference on tape)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(Kim's Jong-il's indistinct
speech on tape recorder)
Choi: Okay.
(speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
(train whistle blows)
Choi Kyung-ok:
(speaking Korean)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
Myung-yim: (speaking Korean)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(indistinct chatter)
Iain T.A. Hall:
We received a phone call,
from the Furama Hotel,
that one of their guests had
left the hotel without paying,
in circumstances which
they were unfamiliar with.
I think it was a Sunday.
Just about to come off
my particular shift.
And because Hong Kong is
such a massive place
with so many people,
missing people, missing persons
cases, were, as you can imagine,
happening quite frequently.
But because this case
involved a foreign national,
i.e. not a local
Hong Kong person,
we had to pay
particular attention.
When we got to the hotel,
everything was in its place.
All her suitcases,
her personal belongings.
The bathroom had all
the cosmetics that you'd expect
from someone
who's staying there
and had no intention
of leaving in a hurry.
So we soon realized that
we were on to something here
which wasn't just
a missing person.
Why has she come to Hong Kong?
Who asked her?
Why was she there?
And why had she mysteriously
just disappeared,
as it would seem, off the face
of the Earth with no trace?
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Yi: Choi was divorced...
with a big bank debt.
One Korean lady approached
Choi Eun-hee,
and she said, "Well, we have
a very rich person in Hong Kong.
She's also
in the film business."
Her name was Lee Sang-hee.
At the time, the South Korean
government didn't know,
Choi didn't know,
I didn't...
Nobody knew she was
a North Korean agent.
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(ship horn blows)
(camera shutter clicks)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Hall: On the 30th February,
we searched Lee Sang-hee's
apartment at Queen's Road East.
It was quite revealing
what we found.
A used North Korean
airline ticket.
And also, a film script called
Woman Slave Ship,
which was one of Shin's
film scripts.
I remember the first time
I met Shin.
There was something
quite distinctive about him.
He had a bit of a swagger,
good-looking and very confident.
It's difficult
to articulate instinct,
but we felt there was
something about Shin
that didn't sit comfortably
with us.
His answers were
somewhat inconsistent,
and he appeared
to be very evasive.
He was quite clear that
he had nothing to do with it,
but wanted to have
police protection.
He felt that Choi had been
abducted by the North Koreans.
He was obviously
quite concerned
about what was going
to happen to him.
Yi: Many different stories
Shin contacted Kim Kyu-hwa.
He was Shin's old friend
and business partner.
But Shin did not know...
he was also
a North Korean agent.
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(projector whirs)
(film soundtrack plays)
(speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
Pierre Rissient: I was in Hong
Kong for the film festival.
And because I had heard
about Shin Sang-ok,
I wanted to meet him
and to see some of his films.
I do not remember exactly
how it came about.
I remember that I found out
that he was at this hotel,
that I was surprised that
it was such a cheap hotel.
Clearly, he was not doing well.
From 1974,
the South Korean government
decided to stop his activities.
He was not authorized
to make films.
He was an outcast in Korea.
He had to try to find work
somewhere else.
(speaking Korean)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Jang-ho: (speaking Korean)
Rissient: The suspicion
was that he was dead.
The suspicion that he could have
been killed by the Korean CIA.
(speaking Korean)
(boat engine whirs)
(tape recorder clicks)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(singing Korean opera)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(opera continues)
(tape recorder clicks)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Man: (speaking Korean)
(whistle blows)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(film soundtrack plays)
(Indistinct chatter)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
David Straub: Kim Jong-il had
a most bizarre childhood.
He was clearly an awful leader
and an awful person,
as an adult.
But one has to feel
a little sympathy for this boy,
unable to live anything
like a normal childhood.
the decision was made
that Kim Jong-il couldn't
play with other children.
So he had only
a tiny number of playmates.
He was put
in an enormous house to live,
given a huge room
stuffed with toys.
Undoubtedly, being raised
that way must have contributed
to the very odd personality
that Kim Jong-il developed.
As early as the
early seventies,
Kim Il-sung was having his son,
Kim Jong-il, groomed
to succeed him.
(muffled applause)
And yet, the people's respect
for Kim Jong-il
was much less than it was
for his father, Kim Il-sung.
Kim Jong-il was not the founder,
he was the son.
He inherited his position.
He was much shorter
than his father.
And his father
was quite outgoing.
He looked like a politician.
He laughed, he slapped
people on the shoulder.
And Kim Jong-il was clearly,
in ways, self-aware
and knew that
he was not charismatic.
He was introverted, shy.
He never really spoke
publically to his people.
Kim Jong-il thought
of himself as an artiste.
But in the late 1970s,
Kim Jong-il was actually running
the country, for the most part.
Kim Il-sung probably
had the last word,
but he was very much,
in many respects,
the retired grandfather,
and I don't think
he was watching very closely
what Kim Jong-il was doing.
(big band music plays)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(canon fire)
- (shouting)
- (explosions)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Jang Jin-sun: (speaking Korean)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(film soundtrack plays)
(sings in Korean)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(Kim Jong-il laughs)
Korea, a land of morning calm.
Jong-il peak soars high
in Mount Paektu.
The dear leader,
comrade Kim Jong-il, was born
In this historic house in the
secret camp, below the peak.
The mountain is
a mysterious one,
where wonders are made.
(birds singing)
Jin-sun: (speaking Korean)
(muffled cheering)
(cheering and applause)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(Kim Jong-il laughs)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(muffled cheering)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(speaking Korean)
(speaking Korean)
(Choi chuckles)
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
Nishida Tetsuo:
(speaking Japanese)
Rissient: He was shooting
a picture in Prague.
It was a kind of sensation.
Shin Sang-ok had
surfaced in Prague,
shooting a film for North Korea.
He was full of ambition...
speaking of the studio
which he was building,
bringing new equipment with him,
to make films,
and producing films.
And I guess he was close to...
the man he was in the sixties,
when he was so successful.
He was certainly very happy.
I suppose you're from
Korea, aren't you?
I came here on
some business.
Tetsuo: (speaking Japanese)
Derek Malcolm: They were
accompanied by about
at least 20 heavies,
whom, I gathered, were...
I thought were North Korean
security people.
They were definitely
guarding these people.
All in the same suit.
It was very strange.
They were all in exactly
the same dark suit.
I don't know...
They seemed sort of friendly.
It did seem as if there was
something slightly odd going on.
Yi: They went to the Berlin
International Film Festival.
And there,
they met South Korean friends
attending this festival.
Shin and Choi showed
very cold shoulder to them.
"Okay, we're doing very good
in North Korea.
You cannot even imagine how
much the party is supporting us.
We are freely making films
as we want.
We are perfectly okay
in North Korea.
There is no country
in the world
better than North Korea
to be in the film business."
North Korean watchdog
security guards
reported to Kim Jong-il when
they got back to Pyongyang.
"Oh, now, don't say anything.
Shin Sang-ok
and Choi Eun-hee
are absolutely loyal
to North Korea.
They are loyal to Kim Il-sung
and Kim Jong-il."
And they started to obtain
more confidence
from these two leaders.
And they gave them
better treatment.
That was the beginning
of Shin and Choi
starting to think about escaping
from North Korea.
Tetsuo: (speaking Japanese)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Choi: (speaking Korean on tape)
(speaking Korean)
Jeong Kyun:
(indistinct chatter)
Reporter: (speaking Korean)
Shin Sang-ok:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(tape clicks)
Straub: Out of the blue,
I received
a telephone call from a lady,
saying that she was associated
with Shin Sang-ok
and Choi Eun-hee,
and she needed to talk to me.
Her father had met Shin Sang-ok
when travelling in Europe.
She said that Shin had asked him
to pass a message
to the US government,
that Shin was being
held under duress,
that he not defected
to North Korea,
that he wished to escape
and come to the United States.
And we have a bag, full of
rattling microcassette tapes
like we used to use
in those days.
Well, at that point,
I nearly jumped off my chair
and said, "Tapes? Of Shin
talking with Kim Jong-il?"
Now, at that time,
no one had ever heard
Kim Jong-il say anything.
We didn't know
what his voice sounded like.
My wife is originally
from Korea.
I thought it would be useful
if she could help me
listen to a few of these tapes,
to see if
they sounded authentic.
So, for some silly reason,
we were sitting in bed,
and we actually covered
our heads with the sheets
while we were listening covertly
to these tapes.
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(tires screech)
(tram bell rings)
On March 13th, Shin Sang-ok,
a former South Korean
movie producer,
who has been working
in North Korea,
and Choi Eun-hee,
approached the US government
and sought assistance.
We have given them assistance,
but I can't give you
anything further.
Dean S. Robinson:
In Vienna, we would expect
that any defector
that's going to walk in
is either an Eastern-bloc
military person,
an Eastern-bloc intelligence
officer or a diplomat.
Film people from North Korea...
that's interesting. That's...
That's not something you see
very often on the radar.
That's not what
you would expect.
They spent considerable time,
sitting down talking
to the intelligence authorities
about every single aspect
of that story.
This story could sound funny,
if we were the suspicious
kind of people.
When I met Shin and Choi
for the first time,
they were so uneasy.
They were so ill at ease.
Some people said
Choi was really kidnapped.
But Shin was not kidnapped,
he walked into North Korea.
That was a widespread story.
Rissient: Everyone was convinced
in South Korea
that he had gone willingly.
For whatever it means,
every single person
at that time thought that.
(Kim Jong-il's
indistinct voice on tape)
On the tape,
Kim Jong-il confessed
that he had to kidnap
Shin and Choi
to North Korea
to improve the North Korean
film business.
Kim Jong-il:
(speaking Korean on tape)
(speaking Japanese)
The truth about the kidnap,
I think,
unless there really is
a solid source in North Korea,
a trustable source...
I think we shall never know.
Anyway, they were brought
to the United States.
The United States government
accepted their asylum
in the United States.
(speaking Korean)
(speaking English)
(speaking Korean)
(laughs and cries)
(indistinct chatter)
Myung-yim: (speaking Korean)
Jeong-kyun: (speaking Korean)
Choi: (speaking Korean)
(indistinct chatter)
(crowd sobbing)