Eshete Assefa tells the story of Norodom Sihanouk, the licky king. Norodom Sihanouk was a Cambodian statesman, royal, and filmmaker who served as King of Cambodia and Prime Minister of Cambodia at different times over his long career. He is known in Cambodia as Samdech Euv. Cambodia was known as the French Protectorate of Cambodia (until 1953), the Kingdom of Cambodia (1953–1970), the Khmer Republic (1970–75), Democratic Kampuchea (1975–79), the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979–93), and the Kingdom of Cambodia once more during his lifetime (from 1993).
After the death of his maternal grandfather, King Monivong, in 1941, Sihanouk became king under French colonial rule. He won Cambodian independence from France in 1953, following the Japanese occupation of Cambodia during World War II. In 1955, he abdicated and was succeeded by his father, Suramarit, in order to participate directly in politics.
That year, Sihanouk’s political party, Sangkum, won the national elections, and he was elected Prime Minister of Cambodia. In 1960, he declared himself Head of State after governing the country under the one-party rule and suppressing political dissent. Although he claimed to be impartial in foreign affairs, he was closer to the communist bloc in practice. He was deposed in a Cambodian coup in 1970, and he fled to China and North Korea, where he established a government-in-exile and resistance organization.