renart: (knife gay)
dev ([personal profile] renart) wrote2014-10-26 01:10 pm
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Pride (2014, UK)



"One community should give solidarity to another. It is really illogical to say, 'I'm gay and I'm into defending the gay community but I don't care about anything else.'" -- Mark Ashton, founding member of 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners'.

Pride is clearly a lovingly crafted, uplifting film. It's also important to remember that it is based on real historic events. The LGSM activist group really did form an unlikely alliance with the mining communities of South Wales in the Dulais Valley in the mid 80s, and they really did change the course of Labour Party and union history in the UK together. The movie itself is sweet and well-researched and delves deeper into the lives and personal struggles of the activists involved. (Especially important given the intersection of the AIDS epidemic and rates of LGBT homelessness and Thatcher-era cultural rifts at the time of the strike, though these aren't touched on near to the extent that they should be).

The film, naturally, does take some creative leeway to stir up interesting narratives that couldn't otherwise be shown, but these don't at all take away from the message of solidarity between unlikely allies and friends. It is a bit simplistic in its politics in a bid to appeal to general audiences, certainly. I noticed there's little talk of class warfare and socialism in the film itself as compared with actual documentary videos, and for some reason (!) the filmmakers are very reluctant to mention that the newspaper which lambasted the LGSM with the label "perverts" was the Sun. But nonetheless, it'll make you feel good walking out. (Frankly it verges on saccharine at times!)

Here is an interesting article full of interviews with the actual people involved with the work of LGSM and the mid-eighties strikes. It also includes a video showing some of the most important events of the time, including the 'Pits and Perverts' benefit concert and the 1985 Pride march in London.

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