Mark: What’s the point of supporting gay rights but no one else’s rights? Or workers’ rights, and not women’s?
The difficulty of making a film with a political message about civil rights is that it needs to appeal not only to the groups of people the film is about, but also to a broad audience who would benefit from the film’s message. Add in queer content and you already have so much working against you, not only in the film industry, but from the audience itself. But now more than ever, we are seeing queer themed films that are moving away from camp and portraying important messages that reflect the ever challenging and changing opinions of the masses. PRIDE is one such film that not only highlights the struggles of the working class during Thatcher-era England, but combines the struggles and efforts of the LGBTQ community during the National Union of Mineworkers strike of 1984-95.
Joe (George MacKay) is a young man questioning his sexuality when he attends his first gay pride parade in 1984. He unexpectedly ends up meeting a group of people with a political agenda who have taken it upon themselves to raise money for the miners and union workers who are striking against Margaret Thatcher’s policies, and aren’t receiving any income. After a fairly successful guerrilla campaign, the LGSA (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) is formed, led by Mark (Ben Schnetzer). The group decides to help a random town affected by the strike, and land on a small southern Welsh town where they are met with homophobia and skepticism.
Matthew Warchus’ PRIDE is one of those important films that will have you laughing, crying with joy and wanting to stand up and cheer. It isn’t often I say that about a film, but with this one it is incredibly true. Not only is it humbling to see two seemingly opposite groups work together for a common goal and overcome adversity, but the fact that this is based off a true story, in 1984 no less, is a great accomplishment for both the miners and the queer community. PRIDE isn’t just for queer audiences either, anyone interested in politics and civil rights will enjoy this film. You may even find yourself standing up and cheering in solidarity when it’s done.