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tv   Bend It Like Beckham  BBC News  April 19, 2022 2:30am-3:01am BST

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ukraine says russia has launched its anticipated large—scale offensive in the east of the country. president zelensky has warned the battle for the donbas had now begun. military experts say moscow appears to be trying to weaken ukraine's combat abilities in the region before an all—out assault. ukraine says missile strikes have killed at least seven people in the western city of lviv, which had largely escaped attack until now. three military warehouses and a car garage were hit in the assault. the european union has condemed what it called the "indiscriminate and illegal shelling of civilians" the south african government has declared a state of disaster in response to floods in kwazulu—natal province.
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ten thousand soldiers are being deployed to the region as part of the relief effort. rainstorms and mudslides have killed more than 400 people. at least sixty people are believed to be still missing. now on bbc news, 20 years on from its release, bbc sport's miriam walker—khan looks at the impact the film bend it like beckham had on audiences. it's not fair, the boys never have to come home and help. i wonder if i had an arranged marriage, would i get someone who'd let me play football whenever i wanted? who are you talking to? music: move on up by curtis mayfield. bend it like beckham was a huge success and it made history as the highest grossing film about football. # hush now, child. my mum probably hates the film because we've watched it that many times. there are so many elements of it
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that are still true today. - i was like, "this is me on screen. "she's found her people. "maybe i can find my people." the film actually gave me a bit of clarity on where i wanted to go with my life. # though you may find... people from marginalised communities can find themselves in it, _ even if it's not their own culture. so, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, i'm going to take a deeper look at the impacts of the film. commentator: and have - we discovered a new star here, gary lineker? that's right, john. could jess bhamra be the answer to england's prayers? alan? crikey, i look a lot younger! quick thinking, - comfortable on the ball. i tell you what, i wish - she was playing for scotland! yeah, i think i overacted a little bit. but at the time, i was wondering why i didn't win a bafta. now, i can see it. it is a bit wooden. no, no, no! i am talking about alan hansen, not me. he was wooden.
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it's one of those scenes that people, when they watch it now, they go "oh, yeah — i forgot that was in it!" it was funny because when we got there and then, they kind of explained it to us, and we all went, "what?" so, it's a dream? this woman is coming on and, right, 0k... this sounds a bit weird. what have we agreed to here? it's actually a funny scene. yeah. because obviously, you expect her go, "oh, she did really well," and this and that and then, she obviously did the exact opposite — she's not happy at all that she's playing this ridiculous game called football — which i can totally understand. she's bringing shame on the family and you three should not encourage her. jesminder, you get back home now! when you are filming it, did you know it was going to be so big? when i did it, i can't remember why i said yes because i'd kind of turned down a lot of things like that normally but, i think i did like the script and thought it was quite cute
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and funny, but i never imagined it would be the success that it obviously was. it's the highest grossing football film ever. despite hansen, barnes and myself! do you know who inspired the film — which footballer? ian wright, and i think... ian — hang on — ian wright inspired bend it like beckham? yeah! why's it not bend it like wrighty? gurinder chadha, the director, saw ian wright wearing a unionjack flag and thought she wanted to write about it, because it's kind of like this evolving concept of britishness that she saw within football. what do you think about that, and how football is such a unifier for so many different communities in britain? well, there's no question that does unify the nation. you just see it in world cups or european championships where everyone gets behind england. in fact, it's the only time we do probably come together. you know, if it was what originated the idea of bend it like beckham with ian wright in the unionjack shirt and then, it ended up being bend it like beckham, but you know, anything that involves football and getting more people to play it or different people
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from asian side of things as well, i think it was one of the attractions to doing it. it's surprising that things haven't changed too much in terms of the asian presence in the game. i think there's a slight change we've seen in recent times but hopefully, it will happen and it will become more popular because, you know, a lot of asian people love the game. it's hard to understand why more haven't broken through but, you know, from what i'm hearing, there are far more young asians at academies now than there certainly was 20 years ago when the film came out. today, i'm heading over to the national football museum to speak to three women who work in football, and they've all have pretty different reasons as to why they're such big fans of the film. obviously, the film turns 20 this month, but it still feel so classic and timeless. what is it, do you think, that gives it that timeless feel? there are so many elements of it
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that are still true today, no matter where you played it, who you played for, who you played with. fortu nately/u nfortu nately, there are still a lot of those bits that i find relatable through my experiences, and i'm sure a lot of people who they haven't watched it before would watch it now and think, "oh, i've experienced the same sort of thing". this film kind of brings up all those issues of identity and feeling like you don't quite fit in there but you don't quite fit in there either. and so, i think that's what's timeless about it is that anyone can relate to that, really, regardless of gender or ethnicity. in a way, it's sad that it's - still relatable to today's world, like, 20 years later, - but it's also — it's the concept of pushing for women's football, - pushing that it shouldn't be women's football, it should just be football in general. - what is it that you all personally kind of relate to in the film? i was a massive tomboy growing up. i really relate to whatjules, keira knightley�*s character, kind of talked about. her mum's trying to make her buy all this lingerie and she's saying,
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"oh, i just want to wear this sports bra" and i definitely related to that. oh, no, sweetheart, not the sports bras! they're so plain! there's a lot of elements in it that i think as a tomboy growing up who loved football and people's perceptions of what you have to be like if you like football and you're a woman, i think this really kind of fell sometimes into those stereotypes but also pushed it in the sense thatjust because you like football and you dress a certain way doesn't mean you have to be that idea of what it is to be a woman. and that's important because it's such a big part of, like, women's football in this country. it's such a safe space for the lgbt+ community. is bend it like beckham kind of ahead of its time in that it's challenging those stereotypes? it was challenging things but in a way that they haven't changed, so it's like well, the challenging did not get us very far, but i do think it was ahead of its time in the way it talked about women playing football and i think it really kind of put and showcased those really cliched stereotypes. did you swap shirts at the end of matches? those cliches have lived on, so i think there's an interesting
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kind of challenge there with how you move the conversation beyond that. ali, you were a bit older when you first saw it for the first time. what did it teach you about your identity? yeah, so i was 19 when the film came out and was obsessed with identity. in the most part, that was because — so, my dad was indian but he passed away when i was six years old and my mum is half italian, so i've spent most of my life feeling in between. so, when i saw this film, even at the kind of late age of 19, i was like, "oh my god, this is me. "this is me on screen and she's found her people. "maybe i can find my people." i didn't know it at the time when i watched the film, but it's such an important and quite emotional part of my football story. i love it. kaljit, there still are so few films with british south asian people in them, let alone about football. what did it mean to you when you first watched it? i remember seeing the women in their shorts and their tops . and i was like, "ok, this is so cool. -
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i "it's possible," because as a kid, i your imagination is what takes you. kids' imagination is crazy. and, for me, that's all i needed. it kind of made me feel ok that i played in the park, _ ithat i did not have a professionall team, that i played with the boys. it kind of made me say it's ok to be a street footballer. _ i really like beckham too. well, of course you do. no—one can cross a ball or bend it like beckham. no, jess. i really like beckham. what is it about normalising sexuality through football that really works well there, do you think? what happens to tony is is he kind of showcases the best part of football — the way that he can be comfortable in his own skin, talking tojess in the game. i mean, it's ok with me. that's kind of what it should be in an ideal world — we would all be in that situation where people feel like when they're playing football, at whatever level it is, they can be their true selves. she should not be running around with all of these men showing their bare legs to 70,000 people!
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she's bringing shame on the family and you three shouldn't encourage her! that scene, for me, says a lot. that could be a huge factor why. a lot of women don't play football because in the asian community, it's seen as you should _ not wear shorts. it's such a huge thing. when i play football with young - asian girls and i remember i showed up in shorts and all- they all were like, "oh, my god — she's wearing. shorts" and they were kind of, like, shocked. so it's still relatable 20 years later. - i think it speaks to a really important issue around seeing the female body as an athlete and not a sexualised object. and i think throughout the whole film as well, there's a — there's a real kind of challenge around comfort, of around being comfortable in yourskin, around being comfortable with what you wear. the film challenges that throughout because even when she's getting measured up for her sari and the tailor woman is saying, "we could even get it around your mosquito". don't worry. one of our designs, even these mosquito bites will look like juicy, juicy mangoes! someone said that to me once when i was getting a sari fitted, and i was like, "this literally bend it like beckham!" i want to play professionally. wow, can you do that? i mean, as ajob, like? sure! not really here, but you can in america.
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one of the best things about watching the film now is looking at the development of women's football in this country. now, we're seeing all of the best american players come here and playing in our league. what is that like for you as women's football fans to see that? where women's football is right now, the wsl being one of the few fully professional leagues in the whole entire world, you know, our national team is becoming one of the best in the world, it is such an exciting time for women's football but i just think it's amazing to see the sort of grassroots element of that and what we have now. that's what i would've wanted, desperately, when i was little, is to be able to go and be allowed to play for the school team, because there's actually a girl's team at the school, and i think that's something that we really developed in this country. the wsl's finally being shown on tv, | and about time, because i think now| people can watch women's football and finally engage with it, - because why would people watch i women's football if it's not on tv? how would they watch it? they bend it like beckham, you know, came to mean the bending of rules, rather than breaking the rules
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and breaking with tradition. how have you all kind of bent the rules as women who work in football? that's a really good question. oh, i think i'm doing it the daily. take a moment, please! i think i am doing it, like, daily. i think we all do. i went straight from the ii—a—side i to the freestyle game because that's how i change the rules for myself. i was thinking, "i want to get more creative with it. - "i want to do something else." and then, i hear it a lot — like, "oh, you're great. for a woman". i can still skin you with my eyes closed! i can either use that— as an advantage and keep saying, "yeah, i can do one around the world and everyone can applaud it" - ior i can push myself and utilisel that and try to push the women's standard even higher so i think, |for me, like, bending the rules| is make your own. what all of us do is we're kind of setting new examples in whatever industry, whatever path we're going down.
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i think that's massively definitely something that's bending is because you're pushing the boundaries of what the idea is to be in those spaces. it's so important for me every time i coach tojust be me. you know sometimes when women are coaching, it's kind of like, "oh, you have to be literally kind, empathetic, maternal character?" and whilst that is true, and that's very much part of my coaching approach, it's also you can also be commanding. i've never met a female coach that's the same as the next female coach. i'm sick of this wedding and it hasn't even started! there were very few movies at all about women loving football or playing football. whoops. oh, will you both pack it in?! and very few movies with asian women in the lead role. so to combine the two is pretty wild. and that's inspirational now. like, for me, like, all right, if she can do that, i can do
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what i want. in the place we are at now in society as well, there is something so soft and beautiful, to see all the great bits of british culture. what bend it like beckham does is bring out all the best bits to that, whether it's football, culture, fashion, comedy. i'm joining a girl's team. huh?! it's all bundled up in one nice lovely package. i always thought the film was only for the asian community. then i heard all of my team—mates in england and america, they all loved the film. it really put the indian culture on the map. it wasn't all like someone lecturing you and telling you, ok, this is the barriers you have to face, this is what you have to do. she added such great, quirky humour and educated. don't you want all of this? it's the best day. of your life, innit! i want more than this. you don't have to just be one thing. you can be multiple things. and i think that's what the film really, really kind of explores. for so many women across society, it's — you're a black woman, you're a muslim woman, you're a white woman, you're british asian. there's got to be a label for it. and i think what bend it like beckham does really well is showcase that intersectionality — jess is british asian, but she loves football, she respects her culture,
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she loves her culture, she's proud of her culture, she's all those things, she's not fitting in one box. we have so many different elements to who we are as people, and bend it like beckham celebrates all of that. # i don't care what the people say... but it wasn't just a success in the uk. it was a huge hit globally. shireen ahmed is a canadian sports journalist who's written academic papers about the film. i am very excited to talk to you today. so, shireen, you're a bend it like beckham superfan. you have said before that bend it like beckham is the most important film in cinematic history. so, i'm going to qualify that statement. what i meant to say was it was the most impactfulfor me. before gurinder had created this film, i never saw myself in those intersections represented on film anywhere, and i still haven't. it's been 20 years and i haven't. the specific intersection — the football with cultural community life — those things for me was wild to see. i cried, i laughed, and i still do 20 years later.
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anyone can cook aloo gobi, but who can bend a ball like beckham? it actually changed the trajectory of my life in a way, and i remember sitting there thinking, my gosh, this movie is for me. it's not a movie where i'm adjacent to the audience. this is intended for me. i had never experienced that before. phone rings. there's too much authenticity here. you can tell that the creators of this film were not outside of a community. yet it's intended for you, but so many other people love it. they do, and i think that's one of the things that i didn't realise. but what i do love about this, and that's what's very special, are people from marginalised communities can see themselves in it, even if it's not their own culture. this is about queerness in a south asian community, it's about interracial relationships, it's about socio—economic stratas, it's about immigrant experience, it's about integration into community, it's about racial abuse, it's about exclusion, and it's about intergenerational trauma of those experiences, so there's so many ways in which people can come in.
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one of the things that's really — it's really wonderful, and unsurprising is the way that globally, people embrace this film. it's a story about love of sport. one of the most impactful scenes for me, and one that i was — i'm still so moved by, tony's driving jess to her match, she's changing out of her sari into her kit. how many times have i had to do that �*cos i couldn't be late for the community event, i couldn't be late for this aunty�*s dinner, changing in your car, trying to put on an outfit that's glittery and has chiffon on it and how to wraps and how it's supposed to look and you're supposed to be this seamless vision of dignity and grace, but you're sweating and your heart is still beating and, you know, it's just that — that it's complicated. it's not going to be seamless and it's ok to make mistakes, it's ok to feel overwhelmed, but you keep going. and like you said, it's physically changing her car,
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but then she has to go and change who she is — she has to go from being a daughter and a sister and part of that community to a football player who's competing, and then we see her back in the changing rooms when all her team—mates are wrapping the sari around her, and that connection between the two where you can see the kit and her sari is so visually beautiful, but also, it's also such a big metaphor for the whole film, isn't it? it is absolutely, and that's one of my favourite scenes. and that particular photo is really interesting because it's almost like an aerial view, but a top view onto the sari in the dressing room, and it says that that belongs there. thatjuxtaposition of the sari, what we perceive is a juxtaposition belongs there. she's an integral part of that team. and, you know, her team—mates have questions for her. my sister's getting married soon. it's a love match. what's that mean? it's not arranged? so, if you can choose, - does that mean you can marry a white boy? white? no. black, definitely not.
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a muslim...uh—uh! those are ways of also bridging gaps, which is what sport is wonderful for, which is also exemplified in the film. for a lot of us, jess bhamra is a hero because we didn't see ourselves on the big screen like we do now, and the make—up of the actual teams is still what it looks like today — it's a lot of white girls with a couple of black players, with a couple of south asian or east asian players, and still what it looks like. so, as much as we want to love and celebrate this film, it is a reminder of how much work we actually have to do. can you tell me a bit about the impact it had on northern american audiences? because obviously, it came out quite soon after 9/11 happened, where attitudes toward south asian communities had changed anyway, and this hopefully made them change again and see people differently. the timing of this film was also really important. the ways in which south asian communities have felt the reverberations of that violence and the uptake of the violence and the re—emergence of said violence is still happening, and this film told a story
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about a family, and it used sport as a connector to do that while also using beautifully captured visuals and music and joy. and that, at that time, when it came out in 2002, was really important. it was one of the first times i had feltjoy in able to revel in this, because, you know, of what had happened of 9/11, and because you were part of a certain community, you were obviously considered to be complicit or associated. it's almost like we were always apologising for 20 years. well, this film gave us a moment to stop apologising and just be who we were. # do yourthing! rosie kmita, the first south asian woman to play in the wsl. you're kind of like a real—lifejess, aren't you? i might put that in my bio! tell me about the first time you saw bend it like beckham
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and where you were and how it made you feel. yeah, do you know what, i always remember exactly where i was. i was at home, i was with my family and we were all really excited to watch it because it was obviously about a young asian girl, up—and—coming, loved football, wanted to go and play in america, and that was her dream, and weirdly, like, me and molly would sit and watch it and think, this is like our life story, really! it's a little bit bizarre. football shoes! i thought it was really, really insightful in terms of asian heritage and the stigma attached to asians in football and the difficulty that comes with being an asian playing the game. i remember me and mol would have to pause it and be, like, that is crazy! like, certain conversations that they'd have in the film, we'd be having with our mates over the park. but i really liked the way they portrayed the storyline, right, because it was in a light—hearted way. jess, man, who's yourfriend with the gorgeous bod? the one with the sixpack! if he looks at me, i really will faint. some of the issues that the main
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characters had to go through are not nice issues, right, so it could have been a dark storyline and a dark film to watch. but i think they really portrayed in a light—hearted way, which i thought was great. wasjess a role model for you? yeah, i think she was. i think she kept her head down, she worked hard, she stuck to the process, even when there were barriers in her way with her parents and the issues that come with that, she still knew what she wanted to go out and achieve, and i think that's really, really important for young people to see. what's crazy is thatjess was probably, for a lot of south asian girls, the only role model that looked like us and was from the same background and she wasn't real, which is sad. yeah, it is sad, it is sad, and when you think about that, the fact that we had to really use our imagination in that sense and look at a film and think, oh, ok, that is possible, but it was a film, right. whereas now, you can look at the likes of myself, maz, who plays at aston villa at the moment, you can now see it and i think that's the beauty of the difference that we've seen 20 years on, right, if we really focus on the positives. i know we've got a long way to go,
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but we're getting there. what parts of the film are especially relatable to you? it's gotta be the scene where she's with the boys in the park playing, because honestly, that was my childhood — every single day out with the boys. do you know when you do likejumpers, goal posts... practising my free kicks, but, yeah, that was my childhood completely. you'd be playing from day till night, and so when i saw that part of the film and i sat back and watched it, i thought, this is me. how much did having molly there with you that whole time help you see that? you know, she's doing as well and she looks exactly the same as me. yeah, do you know what, and i always say this when people ask me, it is such a blessing that i had molly by my side growing up, because being a young girl in football, being the only girls in the playground, being the only girls at the park playing, that is very, very difficult to do alone because you've got so many people looking over at you, thinking, why she playing? she's a girl.
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so the fact that i had molly at my side, we kind of were able to like break down the barriers together, which i thought was great. you think about the impacts of a film like this, but then you see someone like you who literally watched that film growing up, and that impact is so real because now you're playing football and you play professionally, and you are in the wsl — that is really crazy, isn't it? it is crazy. listen, i was so young when that film came out as well. i think the film actually gave me a little bit of clarity on where i wanted to go with my life and what direction i wanted to take it. i saw her go to america and me and mol would look at each other and think, that's what we can do and that's what we want to do. �*cause back when i was growing up, america was the place to be. i truly believe the wsl now is where — the place to be in terms of the best league in the world, but growing up, everyone's dream was to go to america and play, and i think watching a film really, really did give me some clarity on that. and looking 20 years on, there's still so little asian representation within football. how do you view that?
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yeah, it's a tough one to take, really. because i notice so many young asian players out there who are talented and i think we've got a long way to go with still breaking that stigma, especially in asian households. yeah, but i like to focus on the positives and the fact that there's young asians representing us now in the game and i think that's really, really important, that when we do have the platform that we do, and i speak on behalf of myself, i suppose, as someone in the game who's of asian heritage, that we speak on the issues and also represent asians in the right way, and i think that's very, very important. so, any young girls that are looking to get into the game can see us and kind of believe that it's possible, which i think�*s very important, because i never had that growing up apart from the film, right. like, literally, the film is the only thing that i can think of that was front facing on tv that i could relate to. and it's been 20 years since the film came out, but in 20 years, what would you like the football landscape to look like? i think more of the same in terms of women's football in general, i think we're going on the right direction. euros coming up, it's an exciting time for everyone.
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and i think the stigma around women's football in general has changed massively, and i'm so relieved about that. i feel like i've lived through that whole process, it's just been great. and then if i think about it from an asian perspective, i want us to be able to talk about ourselves in the landscape of women's football without mentioning the fact that we're asian, and just that we're football players. i think i'd love that. music: nessum dorma. cheering
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hello. we saw a few showers develop across western areas on easter monday. but as we go into tuesday, expect more of them around a bit more widely, especially for england and wales. where we do see them they could be heavy. even thundery. but it won't be wet for everyone, some will be dry and what you've the coldest conditions in parts of scotland, northern island and for the southwest the best of the morning sunshine. of the morning sunshine. a few overnight showers lingering parts of west wales and they will be there throughout the day across the highlands of scotland. but the bulk of the showers developing through the day will be through central parts of england, drifting away
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into western england and wales where they could become heavy and thundery later. it's a showery day so some will stay completely dry and whilst cool in recent days, 11—15 degrees around where it should be for mid—april. the showers continue to track this way further westwards as we go through the evening and into tuesday night. some low cloud developing on eastern coasts. but an easterly breeze developing and that's going to be a key feature for the second half of the week. high pressure building so that means a lot of dry weather but it will feel a bit chilly along some eastern coasts in particular.
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welcome to bbc news — i'm david eades. ukraine says russia's large—scale offensive in the east has begun, with president zelenskyy warning the battle for control of the donbas region is on. translation: no matter how many of the russian troops i are there, we will be fighting. we will defend ourselves and we will do everything that we must to keep what is ukrainian. attacks in the west too — seven people die in the city of lviv — as parts of the country previously unscathed, come under fire. ukrainians believe this is a reminderfrom russia that it still has firepower and is prepared to use it. a us federaljudge throws out the covid—i9 mandate forcing people to wear a mask in public buildings or on public tranport.


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