North Korea screens 'Bend It Like Beckham'

Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra in a scene from the 2002 film, 'Bend It Like Beckham.' (Kintop Pictures)

December 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
State TV in North Korea broadcast the British soccer film "Bend It Like Beckham" this week.

Western films are largely off limits in North Korea. In a tweet Thursday, British Ambassador to South Korea Martin Uden called the broadcast the "1st ever western-made film to air on TV" in North Korea, and he credited UK Embassy 4 for arranging it.

The broadcast, monitored in Seoul on Dec. 26, was apparently edited and ran only an hour long.

The 2002 film starred Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Myers.

While soccer is popular among North Koreans, the film touched on several taboo topics, like interracial relationships, homosexuality and religion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report