Obviously we all watch fictional programs produced by Asian countries, but I was wondering if anyone else has a documentary addiction like I do :)

Long before I started watching dramas, I've been fascinated by documentaries. While each film is a single story told from one point of view, I feel like they have tremendous educational power when a person watches many. They expose the viewer to questions and topics that they may have not previously considered or knew existed. Films with international topics have the capacity to introduce the audience to a world that may be so different from their own.

I recently watched a documentary called Seoul Train, a film about North Korean refugees who illegally cross the Chinese border. Many of the refugees are trying to eventually enter South Korea. (Warning: some images in the trailer are disturbing)



This got me thinking: is it possible to truly understand Asian dramas without understanding the cultural and historical context from which they originate? The dramas are created with a specific audience in mind, which probably doesn't anticipate there being a substantial western audience. As such, there may be certain assumed general knowledge beyond the language and pop culture references. In many instances, this framework is probably incorporated unintentionally.

So, do we, as drama enthusiasts, miss the point completely if we do not incorporate nonfictional works into our viewing practices?

I'd love to hear what you guys think. Or you can just reply with a documentary suggestion :)
Oh, and I just thought of a documentary that has a significant relationship to a currently airing Japanese drama.

The documentary: The Great Happiness Space

wrote: This compelling film explores the rarely seen world of Japanese host boys, men who are paid to entertain wealthy women in exclusive nightclubs. Almost but not quite gigolos, more akin to male geishas, the host boys of Café Rakkyo share their secrets with director Jake Clennell in his first documentary. The narrative focuses on Issei, Osaka's top host boy, but all the characters in this unique subculture are fascinating. (Source: Netflix)


For those of you watching the Ouran High School Host Club drama, I strongly recommend this documentary. I actually saw it a long time ago, before I was even aware of the anime, and I think it influenced how I understood the anime. There are a ton of Japanese dramas that involve hosts/hostess and/or their clubs. The ones that come to mind are Gira Gira, Misaki Number One, TEIOH, and Tsubasa no Oreta Tenshitachi, but there are many others.
does the dramas based on real life/stories count? :O

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