“Indian Girls Are Not Supposed to Play Football”: Gender in Gurinder Chadha’s Bend it Like Beckham

Abstract

Throughout history, but even in the postmodern era, ridden with racial, ethnicity and nationalistic problems all over the world, another controversial issue still persists in many cultures as a bone of contention, despite enormous efforts from all sides to close that chapter. The problem in question is, simply phrased: gender inequality, and it is an inexhaustible source of creativity in all artistic areas, including literature, music and film, among other media. It goes without saying that female artists are much more susceptible and sensitive than men to portraying women in subordinated situations. Therefore, gender issues are culturally constructed and represented in media primarily by women … and for women, above all. Among these courageous people, an important place is occupied by a British Asian woman director, journalist and scriptwriter – Gurinder Chadha. All her films quite understandably highlight the problems related to race, ethnicity, gender and hybridity – the more so as they depict the life of ‘women of colour’ in the world in which they are marginalised and oppressed in the face of the dominant men on the one hand and of the privileged white people on the other. This paper will focus on Chadha’s most successful film, Bend It Like Beckham (2002), in which she demonstrates how racial, cultural and gender conflicts can be peacefully resolved by cherishing family and friendship within the framework of the multicultural world.



Author Information
Ljiljana Markovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Biljana Djoric Francuski, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - Sexuality, Gender, Families

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