I described Pride to my partner as one of Britain’s best offers in reality-centred, feel-good entertainment, like if you crossed Billy Elliot with The Full Monty. This made her laugh because apparently that’s just how the marketing collateral described the film. Great minds, hey?
It’s the true story of an unlikely friendship between the residents of a small Welsh mining town and a group of gay and lesbian activists. Drawing on their own experience as an oppressed minority, the activists help the town financially and emotionally through the height of the 1984 British miners’ strike.
Pride reminded me a little bit of our beloved Kurilpa Bridge – there’s a lot of support going on out where everyone can see it. Out homosexuals support closeted homosexuals. Unions support miners. Homosexuals support miners. Miners support homosexuals. Confident lesbians support dissatisfied housewives. I might not have felt this theme so strongly if I didn’t see the film on my own. My partner was ‘unwell’ and no one else could join at late notice. Even my own Mother had ‘plans’. Solidarity forever!
Pride is based on true events. Knowing this makes it easier to follow along with some of the most supportive, most saccharine moments. The primary offender is the scene where scene Dominic West (the guy from The Wire and 300) does a disco dance in the Union Hall that makes the entire town renounce their homophobic ways. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic, but I struggle to believe that a retired coal miner would watch a middle-aged man gyrate his hips on top of a table and think, “You know, I didn’t like the gays yesterday, but I think they may actually be alright!” I guess it did happen though.
Don’t let the above paragraph fool you into thinking that I didn’t enjoy Pride. I really did. It was entertaining (there’s a scene where old ladies talk about sex and go to gay dance clubs), moving (I’ve already talked about all the support, right?) and educational (I now know more about the struggle of both the working class and the LGBT movement). I don’t think you could ask for more from a film.
Pride was released in Australia today. You should go check it out at your preferred Palace Cinema if you’re after a laugh and cheery exploration of humanity’s good side. Ask my friends or family if you need a date – I know for a fact that they haven’t seen it yet.
*** Author’s note: I am totally unaware of what is politically correct when talking about LGBT. Please let me know if my ignorance has caused offence!