Intersectional Analysis of Bend It Like Beckham

Topics: Bend It Like Beckham, Social class, Keira Knightley Pages: 6 (2260 words) Published: March 25, 2013
Intersectional analysis of Bend it Like Beckham.
For this assignment, to make an intersectional analysis I decided to watch a movie. After searching and thinking for a while I picked the movie Bend it Like Beckham, since a lot of elements in this movie are applicable on my own life and I really could relate to one of the characters in the movie. As the title of the movie already implies, it is about football and takes place in England. Jesminder is a Sikh, Indian girl from a very traditional Indian family. She is not interested in fashion, boys and her looks; the only thing she is interested in is football. One time when she is playing in the park with her friends, who are all boys, Jules sees Jesminder play. Jules is an English, white girl who plays football. Jules askes if Jesminder wants to join the team, but Jesminder’s parents do not agree. She joins the team anyways and this causes a lot of friction in her own family. Parminder Nagra, who is in her real life also a member of the Sikh religion, plays Jesminder. She grew up in England and from an early age on she wanted to become an actress. Her parents wanted her to finish her education first before she was allowed to start acting. Bend it Like Beckham was her breakthrough film and got her a role in the popular TV-show ER. Keira Knightley is the actress who plays Jules in the movie. She is a white woman, born and raised in England. She started acting at a very young age. Bend it Like Beckham was also her breakthrough movie and she has played in countless of popular movies since, for example Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually, Pride and Prejudice. The director of the movie, Gurinder Chadha, is a woman from Indian decent, who is also a member of the Sikh religion, was born in Kenya but grew up in London. She studied journalism and ended up working as a reporter for the BBC and quickly realized she wanted to direct movies and documentaries. Most of her films focus on the differences between Indian and English families and the inequality between them, mostly in a negative way for the Indians. Bend it Like Beckham is one of her most famous works. After describing the movie contents, the main actors and the director, I am going to apply intersectional analysis to this movie. Before starting the intersectional analysis the term intersectionality needs to be explained. Kimberlé Crenshaw was the first person that mentioned the theory of intersectionality. This theory is a study that focuses on the different biological, social and cultural categories that define someone’s identity and place in society. All these categories are in relation with each other, for instance gender, class, race and sexual orientation combined define your place in society and sadly also the way people treat you. These so called axes all influence each other, there is not just one aspect that defines our place in society. Combinations of all the axes, the starting point of intersectionality, contribute to social inequality, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, but also religion-based discrimination. According to this theory the person who would be the most accepted is a white, straight male from a higher class. A black, gay woman from a lower class would take the lowest position in society, while a white, gay woman from lower class would stand above her, and a white, straight woman from lower class would even take a higher position in society. Now that I explained the theory of intersectionality I can apply it to the movie, but before I do that, I would like to make a point about football-movies in general, and also a point about the lead actresses of the movie. After watching this movie I decided to search for other movies about football. There are over hundreds of movies that focus on men’s football in one way or another, a team, the fans, a coach, but only a few movies, a total of seven, focus on girls that play football, and Bend it Like Beckham is the only one with the focus on a girl who...
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