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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bring the Soul: The Movie is a tour documentary about massively popular Korean K-pop band BTS. The film showcases how influential the bandmates are in their fans' lives and the positive effects of celebrities using their platform to encourage others. It also depicts the hard work and often daunting effects that overworking the body can have on performers (a few medical scenes show the aftermath of an injury). Positive messages include the value of loving yourself and working as a team, but the documentary also seems geared toward encouraging fans to keep buying tickets, attending events, and supporting the brand. The bandmates dress in unisex apparel; there's some gender fluidity among them. They're sometimes extremely hard on themselves, and some of them drink and smoke. But, ultimately, the documentary highlights music's power to bring humanity together and illustrates the influence that celebrities have on youth worldwide.
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What's the story?
BRING THE SOUL: THE MOVIE is the third film featuring K-pop superstars BTS; it follows on 2018's record-breaking Burn the Stage: The Movie and 2019's Love Yourself in Seoul, which brought fans together to celebrate the most sought-after concert of 2018. This documentary highlights the experiences of bandmates RM, Jin, SUGA, J-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook as they travel internationally. It's designed to give fans around the world an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the lives of this very successful boy band, which has inspired millions of fans across the globe.
Is it any good?
This documentary embraces the idea that music has the power to inspire, unite, and mobilize people around the globe. While BTS's legions of fans are inspired by the band's inspirational messages and unique fashion sense, the film also subtly raises issues of sexual identity, gender fluidity, and validation through celebrity. The bandmates' transparency is refreshing and admirable -- it's coupled with their inspiring compassion toward their fans.
That said, if you're not a BTS superfan, the film may get redundant after a while. It weaves together footage of them in each city they visit on tour -- and, toward the end, it gets somewhat monotonous to watch obsessed fans and famous musicians talk about themselves. But it's quite interesting to see how preteens, teens, and even young adults are influenced by BTS. While Bring the Soul: The Movie depicts the positive way in which the group uses their influence, it also shows how vulnerable young fans are when it comes to the notion of celebrity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about BTS's global influence. How does the band use that influence to help others? How do BTS members demonstrate integrity in their actions toward themselves and others?
The documentary shows the benefits of teamwork. In what ways does BTS work as a team?
The members of the band are very honest and transparent with one another. How does open, honest communication lead to positive outcomes in the documentary?
How does BTS use their platform to showcase empathy?
- In theaters: August 7, 2019
- Cast: RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, Jung Kook
- Director: Jun-Soo Park
- Studio: Trafalgar Releasing
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Music and Sing-Along
- Character strengths: Communication, Empathy, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 3, 2021
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