BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM Is First Western Made Film To Air On Television In North Korea
North Korea was in for a treat this holiday season – on December 26th, North Korean TV took a break from documentaries and soap operas that are generally played and aired BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM across the airwaves.
This was the first ever Western made film to ever air on North Korean Television, generally any films from this region are strictly off limits.
The 2002 film stars Keira Knightly, Parminder Nagra, and Jonathan Rhys Myers. It follows the story of a British Asian teen struggling with cultural and family issues while she works on her dream of playing football (soccer) in the United States.
Football is a popular sport in North Korea, the men’s team made it to the World Cup in South Africa last year, and the women’s team is huge in their region.
The British Ambassador Peter Hughes, told the Associated Press that his embassy helped arrange the showing of Beckham:
“This was the first Western film to be broadcast on North Korean TV, and as well as football covered issues such as multiculturalism, equality and tolerance. The U.K. advocates a policy of engagement with North Korea because not engaging means not having any influence, and because engagement has the potential to catalyze change,” he said.
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