What are the 31 Best Documentary Korean Films To Watch? The South Korean film industry presents beautiful films and dramas for us to binge on. Korean films and dramas are known for garnering international acclaim and recognition. When you look closely, they cover a diverse range of topics, and that’s the best part about them. They include topics that depict different aspects of Korea. Films and dramas mainly have a heavy influence on political incidents.
Apart from this, Korean writers focus their attention on other diverse topics like time travel, rebirth, thriller, romance, and many more. In many films and dramas, they provide deep information through their historical dramas about the Joseon or Goryeo dynasty. Moreover, when it comes to movies, there is a completely different angle to their industry—followed by the documentary section. Korean Documentary films cover up all the real-life incidents that happened in the past or recently.
They provide documented evidence to provide us with all the factual information that we need. Moreover, K-pop fans are pretty aware of the documentaries. K-pop groups like BTS, Twice, and Blackpink are some of the few examples that have their documentary films. They give us a sneak peek into their lives, and we get to know about their struggles and hardships. In this article, you’ll get to know about the 31 best documentary Korean films to watch!
This one hour-long documentary talks about a little girl who went missing on April 4, 2000, from a playground. Her father desperately searches for her, it’s been seventeen years, but there’s no trace about her yet. One fine day, a witness appears out of nowhere. Will he be able to find her daughter?
2. Bring The Soul: The Movie
Well, who doesn’t know BTS? Bts came out with their documentary film in 2019. Bring The Soul gives us information about their daily life. This focused mainly on their world tour. Throughout the film, they cover up various aspects of their hardships and struggles of performing live constantly.
3. Becoming Who I Was
This story is about rebirth and reincarnation. A young Buddhist boy from the northern highlands of India discovers that he is the rebirth of a Tibetan monk. After centuries and decades, is he finally back as the little boy? His grandfather takes him on a journey to discover more about his past.
4. Explorers of the Human Body
This documentary talks about the different organs of the human body. This SBS documentary was released as an educational program for providing information to the audience. In the first episode, they discussed the tongue and the problems related to blindness. The K-pop group Super Junior we’re invited to the show. They had to eat very spicy and bitter stuff to know more about the mysteries of the tongue.
5. Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness
This documentary is all about the Earth’s ecology and all the old ideas about food and nutrition. Apart from all this, this show is all about our happiness. Many members join the farmers, cooks, and teachers to know more about processing and sustainability. Moreover, This film provides us with a lot of motivational information to make changes in our standard of living.
6. Farming Boys
This documentary was released in 2016. It talks about three different men who travel around 12 different countries to learn more about farming. Moreover, They make money through a holiday program in Australia. The documentary is filled with their eccentric and bold behavior. Wherein they have fun while taking selfies. These young men observe and record everything about their journey.
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7. Twice: Seize the Light
Twice is one of the most popular K-pop groups in the world. Their documentary talks about their struggle and pressure to maintain their level as one of the popular idols in the world. Since that day, they started working together as trainees. Moreover, They’ve been under constant pressure to become idols. This film will hype you and make you feel motivational.
8. The Ghosts of Jeju
This story talks about the struggles of the people living on Jeju Island, South Korea. More than 30,000 people will be killed during a massacre in this vacation point of South Korea. Moreover, This documentary speaks about all the horrible atrocities that happened to them.
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9. Last Mermaids
This documentary is about the female cultivators of Jeju Island that find food from the seafloor. From this, you’ll learn a lot of things about the life of these people out there. Moreover, All the women who are digging into the sea and harvesting food are around 60 to 80 years old.
10. The Border City 2
This movie talks about Song Du-Yul, a philosophy professor. Then, one day he decides to go back to his home after 37 years in Germany. But, because of some unforeseen circumstances, his reputation falls from a respected professor to a communist spy. Moreover, He was arrested and held for a five-year-long trial. This film talks about the differences, truth, and lies that was discovered in society at that time.
11. The Act III: Moment of Truth The End
This is a full-length documentary about Kwon Ji Yong better known as G-Dragon. He is a part of one of the most popular K-pop groups, Bigbang. Moreover, This film is all about his last solo tour before he went for his mandatory military service. Through this documentary, we get to know about his struggles and pressure throughout his journey.
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12. Big Bang Made The Movie
This documentary film talks about the K-pop boy group Big Bang’s second world tour. Their tour was known as Big Bang made 2015-16 World Tour. Little did you know, this tour is considered to be one of the largest tours. As it had around 1.6 million fans from more than 15 countries. Moreover, The tour lasted from April 2015 to March 2016.
13. Here Comes Uncle Joe
Well, his name is not Joe. But he’s certainly Uncle Joe for the women of An-dong. This is a rural society in the southern part of Korea. This man, known as Uncle Joe for them, is the only contact to the modern world. Uncle Joe’s delivery service 15 secluded villages without markets and transport. Moreover, He even delivers food in every house since 1997. This documentary film is all about Uncle Joe’s delivery journey with 800 elderly people.
14. Spy Nation (Ja Baek)
This documentary film is about Yu Woo-Seong working as a civil servant. But currently, he’s on trial for spying which rose by his sibling’s confession. Even though everything was reported, the government highly influenced it. Moreover, This eventually leads to a confession and fake evidence. The World and the Media have certainly turned their back on this case.
15. I am Grace
The documentary film is based on the life of Grace Jo, a North Korean escapee. She found her new life in the United States. The film is all about the steps of a big revelation. It will certainly reveal her true identity. It is not about being an American or a North Korean. This is about her identity as a human being. I am Grace is a must-watch.
16. My Love, Don’t Cross That River
How often would you wish your loved ones to live a long life with you? This documentary film is about two elderly couples who’ve been with each other for decades. This film depicts the love story of this couple that has been together for more than 76 years and is currently at the last stage of their lives.
17. The Last Tear
This documentary talks about Sexual violence against women. When many of them raised their voices, others were silenced. This film will talk about 200,000 women recruited to serve the Imperial Japanese Army. This happened during World War 2. Many women across Asia, mainly from Japan, suffered from a lot of torture and harassment in a place termed as ‘Comfort Station.’
18. Fading Away
This documentary is about all the untold stories from a group of Korean War veterans, through interviews and historical photos, videos, and many more. These survivors share their painful stories with their families. Furthermore, This film is split up into seven parts. The film has the story of a person who escaped from North to South and the love story of an American couple. Apart from this, it includes the emotional stories of many female soldiers too.
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Arirang was released in 2011. This South Korean documentary film was made by Kim Ki-Duk. The film talks about all the problems Kim had to face during the filming of his film Dream. The film talks about the lead actress’ death attempt. He produced this entire film on his own. It won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.
This documentary film was released in 2004. It talks about the lives of prisoners who were punished in the South for around 30 years. They set them free during the 1990s since the relations were sorted out a bit. This film won the Freedom of Expression Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Furthermore, This was the first time that a Korean film was awarded an award at the U.S. festival. Moreover, in 2005, this film even won the Best Documentary Award at the Fribourg International Film Festival.
21. Eyes On Me: The Movie
This documentary film depicts the lives of IZ* ONE, a K-Pop girl group. These 12 girls broke records every day, which included domestic and international music charts. They also won the newcomer award. This film is all about their concert and the way they make and record their songs and their choreography. Everything will be revealed through this movie.
Twinsters was released in 2015. This documentary film talks about the real-life story of twin sisters. Since they were separated at birth, they discovered each other after confirming their identity with a DNA test. This enabled them to and explored all the aspects of their background together. Moreover, It was available on streaming platforms like Netflix, iTunes, and Freeform.
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23. In The Absence
In the Absence South Korean–American documentary film that released in 2018. This film is about the heartbreaking incident of the MV Sewol that took many lives. Moreover, This incident happened in 2014, The ship sunk with three hundred people, which included many school children from Danwon High School.
This documentary film talks about the stories of all the survivors from the North Korean Prison and the country. These North Korean Escapees talked about their life through various interviews. Moreover, The interviews included people from different professions like North military officers, and artists, and prison survivors. The title indicates an indirect reference to the dictator of North Korea.
25. BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky
Blackpink: Light Up the Sky is a documentary film of one of the most popular K-pop groups named, Blackpink. This documentary talks about their lives as teammates and specifically as individuals. The film talks about their struggles towards fame. Moreover, This was released after the release of their first studio album, The Album.
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26. My Heart Is Not Over Yet
My Heart Is Not Broken Yet is a South Korean documentary film that talks about the story of a woman who went through harassment and violence. Song Sin-do filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government to attain justice for all the women who were dragged into slavery for Japanese armies in World War 2. Moreover, The government dismissed the case, but she’s very firm in her decisions. The title of the movie is a reference to her strength.
27. Love Yourself in Seoul
Love Yourself in Seoul talks about BTS’s concert Love Yourself Tour at Seoul Olympic Stadium in South Korea. It premiered in 102 countries on January 26, 2019. Moreover, Because of its demand, it was released again on February 9 and 10, respectively. They used 42 cameras to shoot their concert.
28. SM Town: The Stage
This documentary captures a glimpse of their ideas, interviews, and plans for their concert. The performers of SM Entertainment traveled across China, Japan, and Korea for their “SMTOWN Live World Tour IV”. This global concert is about their tough lifestyle and immense pressure to handle their concert across these countries.
29. Reach For The SKY
Reach for the sky talks about all the arguments that represent the pressurizing study patterns of South Korea. This film focuses on high school students and their families concerning the annual national exam. This exam will represent their status in society and enable them to choose their preferable university.
30. My Brothers and Sisters in the North
Sung Hyung Cho is the first South Korean individual to receive permission to conduct shoots in North Korea. This film focuses on the lifestyle of the people from North Korea, from the point of view of a South Korean individual. It creates an optimistic image for the viewers despite their sufferings from a lack of possibilities.
31. 9 Muses of Star Empire
Hark-Joon Lee focuses on an all-girl band through this documentary. 9 Muses of Star Empire include nine young women of a new girl group. This film talks about their training by the Star Empire Agency to be launch as the next K-pop group. As their life proceeds, this documentary will cover their daily struggles of achieving their dreams. This is one of the best Korean documentary films.