Every once in a while, a film suddenly appears as if from nowhere, and completely blows you away. Pride, one of the best British films to have been released in at least a decade, is one of those.
Set in the mid 80’s; a time of Thatcherism, terrible disco music and the stigma of aids, it tells the little-known and remarkable true story of lesbian and gay activists who struck up an unlikely relationship with a small Welsh mining community. Founding a group called LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners), they went on to raise thousands of pounds for the mining community and their cause, making lifelong connections in the process.
Much like Brassed Off and The Full Monty, Pride is British filmmaking at its best; a working class tale that’s both humorous and unabashed in portraying life as anything other than real. Set during a truly interesting and important time in our history, what’s interesting about the film is that it deals with themes still relevant today. Homophobia, the tabloids and the politics surrounding the labouring class are still as hot topics of discussion now as they were then, and that makes Pride resonate even more.
Moving and powerful to the point of tears (but in a good way), it’s warm hearted and has the type of good-natured humour that us Brits do best. What’s really admirable is that scriptwriter Stephen Bereford has the balls to delve into the darker side of life, and isn’t afraid of portraying the gay and lesbian characters as fully formed people as instead of Hollywood archetypes.
At its core, the film’s main message is one of solidarity; it brilliantly captures the sense of community that the Welsh are renowned for, particularly in a scene where a group of women in a workmen’s club break into a rendition of the protest song ‘Bread and Roses’. This scene was so powerful it moved me to tears. It preaches kindness, love, and understanding, and for this reason alone it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
One of this year’s biggest and best surprises, Pride is an absolute must-see. It’s as funny as it is touching, the cast are charming and delightful to watch, and above all else it has the feel-good factor which will have you smiling from ear to ear and crying tears of joy at the same time.
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