Culture is the religion and traditions that a person is brought up believing in. Social issues are things such as: class, age, gender representations and sexuality-both films are constructed so the audience will be enlightened by the issues raised, in both films. The issues created cause the messages and values.
The two films that I am going to interpret are “East is East” and “Bend it like Beckham” These are media constructs with messages and values that we have to look for such as the social and cultural issues raised.Although both Asian families cope with living in a multi-cultural Britain, my opinion is that the family in “Bend it like Beckham” integrated to Britain far better than the family in “East is East. ” This is because of the era they were set in. “Bend it like Beckham” is different from “East is East” mainly as “East is East” is set in 1970’s and “Bend it like Beckham” is set in 2001.
In both films they have traditions, there are more in “East is East” such as, boys being circumcised, men being in charge of the household ” I know what is best for you all.In “Bend it like Beckham” Asians must marry other Asians, they have adapted more than the Kahn’s in “East is East. ” In “East is East” there is a lot of prejudice against the Kahn family. When Tariq goes to a club with Abdul, he is allowed in but Abdul is questioned just because of the colour of his skin and that he isn’t wearing the “cool” clothes. The audience empathize with Abdul as he was conscious of going anyway . The messages being sent to the audience is that in 1971 people weren’t allowed in clubs because of their race/Also the old white man who lives across the street has banners and posters against Asians.
This is to enlighten the viewers that people are racist and are not bothered about how the Asians will feel. In “Bend it like Beckham” there is prejudice hen Jess is talking to her coach about football and he says “I didn’t know Indians played football” this makes Jess feel humiliated about the colour of her skin, consequently the audience empathise with Jess and become angry with the coach. The messages portrayed are that Indian women aren’t meant to play football. Jess got upset when somebody on the pitch was being racist “She called me a Paki, but I guess you wouldn’t understand what that feels like.
Also there is racism between Asians themselves like when the other Asian family in “East is East” comes to the house they wipe their hands after shaking hands with the Kahn family. In “Bend it like Beckham” the racism against another race is when the in-laws of Pinkie call of her wedding because she saw Jess with a white boy, when it was actually a girl. In both films there is child needs versus their parents tradition. The parents in “East is East” and “Bend it like Beckham” are afraid of the teenagers beings corrupted by western life.
Examples of this in “East is East” is when Mina the ‘tomboy’ has to wear a sari, but wants to wear fashionable clothes, and in “Bend it like Beckham” Jess isn’t allowed to show the scar on her leg, as her mum thinks it is not lady-like. Being part of a multi-cultural Britain the Kahn children in “East is East” have to lie to please their parents. Salem studies Art at college but he tells his dad that he is studying an engineering course. All the children in both films have issues with their parents about marriages.In “East is East” George (father) wants two of the boys to have arranged marriages, unfortunately neither of them want it/The youngest boy Sajid is already concerned about having an arranged marriage “not old enough to get married so don’t ask.
” In “Bend it like Beckham” it differs Jess” parents don’t find who she marries but he must be Asian and of the same religion. Also in this film Jess has to lie to go to Germany with the football team because her parents think Western differences will influence her.A difference between the two films are in “East is East” the children have to worship this maybe as it was set in 1971 whereas in “Bend it like Beckham” we don’t see them worship this maybe as it’s a more modem film. There are many representations of women both Asian and White. A representation of women as a whole is to be more feminine. A good example of this is Jules’ mum in “Bend it like Beckham” tells her to buy push-up bras and not a sports bra, also her mum thinks she should get a boyfriend and stop playing football A representation of Asian women is they need to be able to cook traditional Indian dishes.Jess’ mum thinks she should stop playing football and learn to cook Indian food. “Bend it like Beckham” also deals with lesbianism.
Jules’ mum finds this a horrific fact to deal with “get your lesbian feet out of my shoes” even though Jules isn’t a lesbian. Jess’ mum tells her not to play football as her skin will become darker and the darker her skin the less attractive she will be “look how dark you are. ” Both the films provoke the idea women should marry and have children. Also in “East is East” white women are represented as gossips and always smoking.In both “East is East” and “Bend it like Beckham” there is a feeling of otherness, not belonging.
In “Bend it like Beckfaam” this is portrayed mainly by the issue of homosexual^. Firstly Jules’ mum suspects Jules and Jess to be lesbians, she is unhappy with this thought so she thinks Jules should become more feminine, as then she won’t have the stereotype of a lesbian ” Just because I wear trackies and play sport does not make me a lesbian. Also Jess’ best friend Tony tells her he is gay.He is in fear of telling his family because they may disown him and not except him into their religion “what will your mum say. ” Finally in “Bend it like Beckham” Jess’ sister’s (Pinkie) in-laws refuse to welcome her into their family as they thought Jess was a lesbian There is irony in “East is East” because George (the father) married a white women, however tells his sons they mustn’t marry a white women as they sleep around with different men “English girl no good.
they sleep with other men” This is a stereotyped white women.The music in “Bend it like Beckham” is quite upbeat, to aid the pace of the game of football. The song when Jess is playing football has the lyric “she’s a lady” this is ironic, as football is associated with men, but it’s the women that are playing. Besides this, in “East is East” the music is more old fashioned at the beginning there island music when the parade is occurring, then there is folk music. However as the film unravels the music becomes more contemporary, the end song is titled “Moving” by Supergrass this maybe conveying that George and the Kahn family are moving forward with their style of living.In conclusion to my essay, I have realised the aim of “Bend it like Beckham” and “East is East” is to provoke the audiences reaction and cause empathy to occur, they do this by conveying the problems Asian families endure when living in a multi-cultural Britain.
However “East is East” is a blacker portrayal set in 1971 it shows the struggle Asian families went through such as racism from white people and the pressure from their own heritage and culture to keep their Asian traditions alive. Whereas in “Bend it like Beckham” it is a lighter more positive representation of multi-cultural Britain this may be as it is more to the present day.