Lesbians in the house: Female queerness in Bend It Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha, 2002) and Chutney Popcorn (Nisha Ganatra, 1999) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 10, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 1474-2756
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0578



This article explores two transnational films about South Asians, Bend It Like Beckham (Chadha, 2002) and Chutney Popcorn (Ganatra, 1999), with regard to their production of spaces within the home, of family and diaspora, in relation to counter-hegemonic non-heterosexual or non-heteronormative female subjects. Both films treat the space of the home and the traditions it embodies as culturally valuable and therefore not to be forfeited by the female protagonist; however, at the same time, these spaces bring with them the architecture of the hegemonic and the heteropatriarchal. Chutney Popcorn is able to reimagine traditions to accommodate the ‘family outlaw’ that is the lesbian through the labours of the literal figure of the reproductive woman, whereas Bend It Like Beckham contains the subversive challenges posed by feminine labours on the sporting field and at home to enshrine normative femininities squarely within the renegotiated diasporic home.


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