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Beckham film shown in North Korea

"Bend It Like Beckham," the 2002 British dramedy about two high school girls playing on a club soccer team, became the first Western film shown on North Korea's state TV when it was broadcast in late December. The movie stars Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, who overcome cultural differences, a misunderstanding about boyfriends and the apprehensions of their families as they develop soccer skills.

They are big fans of David Beckham, who was at the height of his career when the movie came out.

The state TV network is the only TV-viewing option that exists legally in North Korea and its usual the fare is music pageants, melodramatic movies, military spectacles and homages to dictator Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Il Sung. The broadcast of "Bend It Like Beckham" -- some parts of which were deleted -- was arranged by the British Embassy in Pyongyang.

In September, the embassy and several business sponsored a trip to North Korea by a women’s soccer team from Middlesborough, which has a special connection with North Koreans because it was the site of the North Korean men’s team’s triumphant moments in the 1966 World Cup.

Read the whole story at Wall Street Journal »

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