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Copy of Visual Representation of Belonging

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by

Nikola Cucak

on 5 March 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Visual Representation of Belonging

Belonging is considered to be establishing a feeling of acceptance, comfort and even in some cases security within a group, community or place. This reflects on your attitude, connections and relationships made with others and your individuality/identity. Everyone's own Sense of Belonging will eventually emerge as it is part of we are.
Understanding Belonging
'Bend it Like Beckham' ~ Intro
'Bend it Like Beckham'
is a British comedy style film that presents a clash of tradition and cultures between the game of football and through the identity of Jesminder (Jess), an 18 year old girl of Punjabi Sikh heritage who falls in love with the game of soccer. Although pressured due to sexism and cultural emphasis not just from her parents but other football players for instance in the local park, she surpasses her emotions towards gender stereotyping and cultural prejudice through her links with friends from different cultures and genders. '
Bend it Like Beckham'
is an easy choice for a text that uses light humour to question social and traditional boundaries for belonging while still maintaining cultural integrity and values.


Acceptance & Contrast
Although the story mainly focuses on Jess and her struggle to fully embrace her culture up to her parents every expectation, so to does Jess' friend Jules' family also belong to a culture. Both mother figures in the movie (Mrs Bhamra and Mrs Paxton) play an important role in attempting to steer their daughters futures in what is recognised by the audience as the wrong direction, as opposed to the father figures (Mr Bhamra and Mr Paxton) who seem as the shining beacon of hope for Jess and Jules. Jess for sharing a cultural bond with her dad as he was a former sportsman and Jules because she is the closest thing to a son her father will have and football being the male dominant sport in England is the centre of their family values.
By Nikola Cucak
Visual Representation of Belonging
Director Gurinder Chadha intentionally incorporates the use of juxtaposition to contrast 2 totally different cultures but also in a sense highlight their similarities in relation to gender stereotyping. It is quite obvious to the responder that these dilemmas that the mothers propose would be easily avoided, simply if both Jess and Jules were boys.
Key Scene Analysis
There is one scene of significance that I have chosen that truly highlights discrimination and a clash of culture, especially when attempting to belong. Jess' coach Joe visits the Bhamra residence and has a conversation with her father about Jess's absence from playing football, where Mr Bhamra explains his previous experience with trying to conform with English society. "But when I came to this country, nothing. I was not allowed to play in any team, and the bloody goras in their clubhouses made fun of my turban and sent me off packing!" The use of close ups of Mr Bhamra and visual imagery language in this scene indicates to the audience how much self esteem he lost, how mistreated and abused he felt and his urge for social and racial justice and how his experiences will impact Jess.


Jess's family will do whatever it takes to
protect her from clashing with western civilization and uphold their culture and tradition that dates hundreds of years. But in this process, Jess's parents attempt to shut down her aspirations and force her to follow a career path, one that she will most definitely hate and resent her parents for. "I'll have to now or I'll end up a solicitor, bored out of my mind".
In Relation To Strictly
Ballroom

'Bend it Like Beckham
' relates to
'Strictly Ballroom'
as both films show an attempt to conform to a contemporary society. As we see it in '
Bend it Like Beckham'
so to does Scott Hastings (the protagonist of '
Strictly Ballroom'
) feel oppressed by authority (Lez, Barry and Shirley), who all resist change and unite in a way, acting as to protect Scott from his individuality and dance the federation steps. The portrayal of Scott's mother as the labelled 'bad-guy' happens right from the beginning during the 'mockumentary' style film scenes.

Family culture is the major role in both films where both the Bhamra's and the Hastings' have their own code of conduct and somewhat superficial values. Superficiality is explored through the ridiculous outfits, the melodramatic outbreaks of Shirley and Scott's original dancing partner and the aura of the film which resembles a fairy tale. Scott finds his sense of belonging by connecting with Fran, another person who is controlled under the 'reign' of Shirley in the dance studio. Fran also shares similiar experiences with her father as initially he neglects her passion for dancing and having the will to express herself from the heart. The Pasa Doble learned by Scott acts as a bridge between cultural barriers just like football for Jess in
'Bend It Like Beckham'.
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