Religion in the film: Bend It Like Beckham

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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”.

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        The religious issues in this include the contrast in gender roles as observed by followers of the Sikh religion and by their British countrymen.  Jess’s family see the role of the female to be that of a housewife - doing the cooking, cleaning and performing the basic household tasks. The issue of arranged marriages is also discussed; Jess does not want an arranged marriage because this means that she will be unable to play football. Clothes are also mentioned by Jess’s mother: “as a woman should not show her skin to everyone” and Jess argues that: it is hard ...

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