9 Muses of Star Empire

  • Hark-Joon Lee
  • South Korea
  • 2012
  • 82 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Music Documentary
Korean pop culture, or K-pop (also known as Hallyu or Korean Wave) has achieved great popularity in Asia since the end of the 1990s, dominating both the pop charts and primetime television. 9 Muses is a girl band in this genre, being groomed for international stardom by the powerful Star Empire agency. The film tracks the girls for a year as they prepare to make their debut - a very demanding period for them, both physically and psychologically. The Muses have sacrificed their lives for a shot at fame, but face a constant barrage of criticism from an army of ruthless managers who always seem to be angry. They have no choice but to constantly work harder. Practice, practice and more practice. Again and again we hear them sing, "I don't want a playboy," the hook in their hit single, and again and again they repeat the same dance steps. Stress, jealousy and exhaustion are ever-present dangers, and the tears often flow. It is up to the Muses themselves to decide whether the price of fame is worth paying. It seems not everyone can survive in the world of Asian glitter and glamour.


  • 82 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: Korean
  • Subtitles in: English
Hark-Joon Lee
Min-Chul Kim for Minch & Films, Suk-Kee Lee for Style Chosun
Yeon-Taek Seo
Milena Z. Petrovic
Screening copy
Minch & Films

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Music Documentary

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IDFA history

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