Controversial Nine Muses Documentary Hits Netflix
By Lai Frances | February 22, 2016 11:19 AM EST
With a number of Korean movies and television shows already available for streaming on Netflix, K-pop fans and Koreaphiles are not for want when it comes to thing to binge watch. A new addition to the catalogue, however, gives a whole new perspective on the Korean entertainment industry and the stars behind it all.
After trying to pursue international distribution for Nine Muses of Star Empire in 2014, director Hark Joon Lee has reached a new international audience by listing the controversial documentary on Netflix.
First premiering at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2012 and later broadcast as an abridged version on BBC World in 2013, Netflix subscribers can now watch the full documentary chronicling the harsh realities of K-pop girl group Nine Muses.
"I wanted to see the inner workings of the K-pop industry," Lee said during a viewing and discussion of his work at the Korea Society in New York City back in 2014. "At first I wondered if it would actually be an impossible endeavor."
"I think record companies want to make the perfect star, stars that have no flaws," Lee said. "And I feel that the people producing K-pop bands, they want to produce this flawless star image. That's a unique thing in K-pop."
Acting as manager for the group while filming Lee was given an all-access pass to the trials and tribulations on their way to stardom. "I think I gave it my best during the time I had to film the Nine Muses' lives," Lee said in a 2013 interview with KpopStarz. "I believe that it is the role of the documentary to convey what is, truthfully."
Although Nine Muses of Star Empire focuses on the particularly rigorous lives of rising Korean pop stars, there is mass appeal for the film. [The way the group members are depicted in the movie], in my opinion, reflects all pop stars in the world," Lee said. "I suspect that many would share similar experiences of the loneliness and stress offstage. I think that the characteristics of the entertainment industry must be similar wherever you go.
Nine Muses of Star Empire is now streaming on Netflix.
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