Lionsgate Live: stream Bend It Like Beckham for free

Keira Knightley's breakout movie Bend It Like Beckham is available to stream courtesy of Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies. Scroll down for all the details, including all the info on where you can watch it.

What is the story of Bend It Like Beckham?

Parminder Nagra (Dr. Neela in E.R.) gives a winning performance as Jesminder Bhamra (or 'Jess'), the footie-mad daughter of a loving family of Indian Sikhs. Although Jess has been raised in Hounslow, her mother and father wish her to follow Sikh tradition, in-keeping with Jess' older sister Pinky (Archie Panjabi).

Jess secretly aspires to become a professional football player, and covertly joins a local women's league. There, she makes friends with fellow player Juliette (Keira Knightley). Before long, Jess has to balance her career aspirations with the needs of her family, resulting in equal parts pathos and triumph.

Bend It Like Beckham emerged in the early-2000s as part of a wave of infectiously entertaining films celebrating British multiculturalism. (East is East is the most famous of these.) Directed by Gurinder Chadha, the movie flies the flag for gender equality and cultural open-mindedness, without ever becoming too heavy-handed or moralistic.

A large part of this is down to the performances. In their breakout roles, Nagra and Knightley are terrifically believable, and there's a scene-stealing array of supporting faces. Juliet Stevenson plays Juliette's clueless mother Paula, and Anupam Kher portrays Jess' devoted father Mohaan. They're just two of the standout actors in a rousing Brit hit that grossed $76 million worldwide against a $6 million budget.

Where can we stream Bend It Like Beckham?

Bend It Like Beckham is available for one week from 6PM on Saturday 16th May, introduced by comedian Jack Whitehall. It can be streamed for free on the Lionsgate YouTube channel.

How is Lionsgate Live raising money for charity?

Viewers who stream Eddie the Eagle are being encouraged to contribute to several charities.

Audiences will have the chance to join Lionsgate UK in helping the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, who are currently supporting NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. They can also support The Film and TV Charity COVID-19 Emergency Response, supporting the people behind the scenes who bring these stories to our screens.

What other movies are streaming as part of Lionsgate Live?

Next week, you can enjoy the following:

  • The first instalment of the blockbusting Hunger Games franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence (23rd May)

Will you be streaming Bend It Like Beckham? Let us know @Cineworld.