Isolated N. Koreans Watch First Western Film on TV ‘Bend It Like Beckham’
December 31, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—You have to wonder what was going through their minds, as a militaristic nation of starving people, closed off from the rest of the world sat in front of their television sets and watched a Western-made film for the first time. Last weekend, the popular British-made 2002 film “Bend It Like Beckham,” was shown in North Korea, in observance of the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United Kingdom. This was certainly a welcome change of pace from the usual state sanctioned propaganda extolling the virtues of the Totalitarian nation’s military and the cult of personalty surrounding the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il.
The original two-hour film was edited down to just an hour, presumably to remove any hint of sexuality and religious themes, but still, the movie depicting modern-day family life, consumer perks and wealth not seen in the poor isolated nation, must have raised the consciousness of some North Koreans.
The New York Times writes:
“But on Sunday, The Associated Press reported, North Korean television audiences were given a rare break from this routine when the British comedy “Bend It Like Beckham” was shown there. The film, which stars Parminder Nagra as a young woman from a Sikh family with dreams of soccer stardom; Keira Knightley as her best friend; and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the dreamy coach they both have eyes on, was shown over the weekend by the arrangement of the British Embassy. According to the BBC, a message was shown during the film saying that the broadcast was done to mark the 10th anniversary of diplomatic ties between North Korea and Britain.”
Martin Uden, the British ambassador to South Korea heralded the television event on Twitter.
“Happy Christmas in Pyongyang. On 26/12 Bend it like Beckham was 1st ever western-made film to air on TV,” Uden tweeted.
Photo Source: Wikimedia/Bend it Like Beckham Movie Poster, Fair Use.