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Religion in the film: Bend It Like Beckham

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Introduction

Adam Taylor Part Three Analyse and explain the way in which a religious theme has been dealt with in a film or television drama. The film we watched was called Bend It like Beckham. It dealt with the religion Sikhism. In the film Jess, an Asian girl, has a talent for playing football. Her family, who follow the Sikh faith, do not want Jess to play football, and jess naturally wishes to continue playing her favourite sport. After a shopping trip to get clothes for Jess's soon-to-be-married sister Pinky, Jess plays football in a park and is spotted by Jules, a British female who plays for the local female footy team. Jules invites Jess to a training session and Jess takes to it like water. The coach Joe, an Irish bloke, asks Jess to come again. She does so, but is reluctant to wear the shorts - because of a burn scar on her knee. Afterwards she goes to the park and is spotted by her mother - which results in a ban from football, as Jess's father states she should become a "proper woman". ...read more.

Middle

They prefer a "love match" to an arranged marriage and this is the situation with Jess's sister, Pinky, where she and her husband-to-be' families have agreed to the marriage. Despite this more enlightened attitude, when Pinky's future in-laws mistake Jess laughing with Jules for Jess kissing a "Gura" they wish to call off the marriage. Homosexuality is not widely accepted by the Asian community in this film - and, Jess's friend (Tony) does not want anybody other than Jess to know of his affinity to men. Because of the taboos surrounding who she can and cannot marry or love, Jess faces various problems about who she falls in love with - namely Joe. Her family strictly say that Jess should fall in love with only a Sikh Asian male. Joe is an Irish Christian- and so marrying him would be against the family's wishes. Her friends, however, are much less strict. They have no problems with whoever Jess falls in love with. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tony reacts by saying "Can't you just see them for who they are?" As Tony shows, his friends are seeing the women only for their bodies - judging them on appearance - on their "sexiness"- rather than their characters. As well as sexism, there are examples of racism. Jess's father states that when he went to a cricket club, they "mocked me just because of this [a turban]". The other cricketers discriminate against Jess's father because of his religion, his skin colour and his turban- judging him on his appearance rather than who he is. In these two scenes, people are being unfairly judge on their gender or race, and having discriminatory things said about them. In conclusion, a great deal can be learnt from the film about different attitudes ad prejudices. Examples include the events in the Sikh wedding, attitudes towards females and football, and how a woman is expected to behave. It also shows how racism and sexism appear in everyday life - and the effects and how people deal with them. ...read more.

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