Pride (2014) is a film that perfectly balances history and humour. A story of love, struggle and perseverance it really shows you what it means to be human through its tasteful and thoughtful presentations of the 1984 miners’ strike and the LGBTQ+ community during the 80s and their fight with the AIDS crisis.
Pride is based on a true story and follows the story of a group of lesbian and gay activists in 1984 London who founded LGSM (lesbians and gays support the miners), a group who realise that the police who used to harass them up outside gay nightclubs in London, are now harassing miners on the picket lines. Wanting to show their solidarity with the striking miners, they begin to raise money to help families affected by the miners’ strike. The group faces opposition from miners, who don’t want to be associated with the LGBTQ+ community and members of the LGBTQ+ community who don’t want to help the miners who mistreated some of them in the past. The group decides to ignore the protests to their cause and take the money directly to a community in the Dulais valley in Wales, starting an unlikely but strong friendship between the two communities.
Ultimately, Pride is a story about an unlikely friendship between two groups who were in 1984 facing hardship from the police, public and government under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Whilst it is ultimately a comedy at no time does it shy away from serious matters facing both groups, with the threat of AIDS mentioned frequently throughout the movie and police brutality experienced by both groups.
Not only is Pride a beautiful story, but it also has an exceptional cast with performances from Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West and Paddy Considine. Bill Nighy plays Cliff, an older Welsh miner who is desperately trying to hold his community together whilst coming to terms with his own sexuality. George MacKay also gives a stunning performance as Joe, a perfect character to represent the fears surrounding coming out to an unsupportive family, whilst finding a new family in LGSM and the miners of the Dulais Valley. Arguably, the standout scene in the whole film is when Jonathan (Dominic West) discovers Welsh men don’t dance and decides to show them all up by performing a dance to Shirley and Company’s ‘Shame, Shame, Shame,’ in a working men’s club in Wales. (Seriously just watch it on YouTube, it’s fantastic.)