'Bend it like Beckham' becomes 1st western film to be broadcast in N. Korea

Pyongyang, Dec 31 (ANI): Indian-origin Hollywood director Gurinder Chadha's film "Bend it like Beckham" will become the first western-made film to be broadcast on TV in North Korea.

According to The Guardian, the broadcast, monitored in Seoul on Boxing Day, was however edited down to just an hour long, instead of the original 112 minutes.

The film, made in 2002 and starring Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra, is about a soccer-mad teenage girl who outrages her traditional Indian family by idolising David Beckham and playing football in a local all-female team.

North Korea's TV programming more usually features news, documentaries and soap operas.n a post on Twitter yesterday the British ambassador to South Korea, Martin Uden, said the broadcast was the "1st ever western-made film to air on TV" in North Korea. The British embassy had arranged it, he added.

During the film, a message was broadcast saying it was being shown to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Britain and North Korea.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il is a fanatical cinephile who is said to have a library of 15,000 films, and for years he has directed his own propaganda movies. He was behind the seizure of a leading South Korean film director and his wife in 1978, "re-educating" him in prison and camps for five years before telling him get on with more movies, although the couple later escaped during a trip to Vienna in 1986. (ANI)

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