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Movie Review: Pride

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I really can’t recommend this film enough at the moment: Pride encompasses all that is good about Britain whilst seeking to entertain and educate its audience. This period piece pits a Thatcher-led government against two different political groups; one pushing against the tides of change and the other pushing for it. It is through solidarity that they face their common enemy and forge a friendship that will eventually change the course of British history forever.

Although the film’s trailer slightly hints at a movie filled with subtly homophobic jokes this couldn’t be further from the truth. The humour is equally mirrored by the drama surrounding the characters in their struggle. Set in the mid eighties, and based on a true story, the film follows Mark, a young man with a passion to prove himself, who goes about gathering men and women to form a new group - Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. It is through a small desperate town that they manage to communicate an alliance, and, as the film progresses, we really get to see the trials and tribulations that each group faces, be it police brutality, homophobia or HIV.

To me, this was more than just a gay movie; it was a movie that inspired me; a movie that flashed recollections of a youth when I believed that the gay community would eventually be supported by a domineering heterosexual culture. There were many moments in it that I had to casually wipe away tears from my eyes, one such being when one of the miners casually goes over to shake hands with Mark after being freed from a police station – all thanks to the LGSM, of course. But the film’s story really belongs to a younger character, just starting to find himself: Joe is a young closeted twenty-year-old who gets involved with the groups activities early on, and he finds a number of people with who he can really connect with – heroes. It is through these misfits that he finds his own strength, to stand up to his mother and to tell his sister his real thoughts on her perm!

I really don’t want to throw too many spoilers into this review but the ending was intensely emotional and interesting; I had no knowledge on how far gay and lesbians supported the miners or how the miners eventually supported the gay and lesbian community. I am thoroughly surprised that the gay and lesbian community itself hadn’t highlighted this historic moment in history. Wikipedia didn’t have much to convey on the subject, when I took a peek. It seems that film is the only medium to have captured this story. One thing I was deeply impressed with though, was how the writer of the film managed to convey a message of political slack in Britain today, as demonstrated in one scene when a London Pride organiser tells the group to march at the back of the pride parade if they wish to hold banners with political agendas on them. This film really will inspire you to think about what you can do to change things and the hands you can reach out to shake in the process.