Pride. Directed by Matthew Warchus

  • Film
 
Pride. Directed by Matthew Warchus

Published:

Fri, 12/09/2014 - 15:59

By:

paul
Faye Marsay, George MacKay, Ben Schnetzer, Joseph Gilgun and Paddy Considine
Faye Marsay, George MacKay, Ben Schnetzer, Joseph Gilgun and Paddy Considine
Published: 
11 September, 2014
by DAN CARRIER

Certificate 15
☆☆

WHEN the miners’ strike of 1984 was at its bitterest, there were other battles that ran concurrently and shared similar themes.

The miners were called The Enemy Within, and seen as an evil cancer on the face of society (which, of course did not exist, according to their number one opponent).

Back then, gay men and women were still treated as second-class citizens, homophobia was rife and accepted, and all this was made worse by the ignorance over the discovery of Aids.

One day, a group of gay activists decided they should try and help a mining community in the dark days of the strike, try and show some solidarity to another group of people who were being attacked by the government, by the right wing press, and who could do with friends.

It led to the establishment of the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners group, people who collected funds and organised events. This film is their story. 

The plot has plenty of personal asides; it’s not all grand politics. There is the teenager yet to come out to his family, the homophobia the group faced after randomly selecting a small Welsh village to support, the gay man returning to the Valleys for the first time in 16 years to confront his estranged mother, the welsh women coming to London to learn more about a community who were working on their behalf... 

All this keeps the story bubbling along nicely, interspersed with some moments of genuine hilarity, and others of truly moving considerations of how both the miners and gay people were treated. 

It has elements of Ken Loach, sits neatly in the canon of brilliant British comedy, and manages to deal with serious issues in an approachable and enjoyable way.

Light-hearted and heart-warming, well acted and above all moving, it has moments where a good sob is in order, but is uplifting in equal measure – exactly what a trip to the flicks should be. 

Some of it was shot in Camden, with a mock-up of the famous Gay’s the Word bookshop featuring, as does the Electric Ballroom. 

It is moving to know the Camden community were central to this story – indeed, one of the men featured still lives in King’s Cross: Mike Jackson, original member of the LGSM group, I salute you. This film tells the story of your incredible compassion and bravery. 

Simply put, fantastic stuff. 

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