Monday, January 3, 2011

North Korea allows screening of British soccer movie Bend it Like Beckham

On Friday, December 31, the Guardian newspaper reported that the British soccer movie Bend it Like Beckham had become the first foreign movie to be screened on North Korean television. The version shown was heavily edited, with a running time of just one hour instead of its original 112 minutes, but the decision shows how the North Korean love of soccer and leader Kim Jong-Il's love of movies have combined to give North Koreans a rare glimpse of the outside world.

Kim Jong Il, from Biography Reference Bank
Wilson Omnifile features a number of articles about North Korea, including one (from New Republic, 2004) written by a Hong Kong-based journalist who gained unprecedented access to North Korean residents because he played soccer for Beijing Celtic, a team of expatriates working in China, and the team was invited to North Korea to play in a 2004 tournament. The database also features an article (from Macleans, 2010) about Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's fascination with North Korea and his invitation to the North Korean soccer team to train in Zimbabwe ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an in-depth article (from Foreign Policy, November/December 2009) about the challenges facing the North Korean leadership in the near future, and many more. Subscribers can search using a variety of keywords, including North Korea soccer, Kim Jong Il, and use the Content Discovery Keys to broaden their search without losing their original focus.

The lobby card for Bend it Like Beckham is just one of 21 images for this movie in Cinema Image Gallery, and you can also find detailed biographies of Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Il Sung in Biography Reference Bank.

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