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Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Review: Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014)
Pride is British feel-good drama at its very best, featuring one of the strongest ensemble casts of the year. It is not only an inspiring and important film about the fight for equality and how strength in numbers amongst multiple marginalised groups has the potential to change a nation’s values, but it’s also full of frequent humour and irresistible energy. Coupled with the charm is an ever-present feeling of substantiality in its exploration of the period and the heroes that made such an unlikely union possible. Written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus, Pride has understandably been internationally celebrated, including winning the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Pride is based on true events, depicting a London group of smart and determined gay and lesbian activists, led by Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer, The Riot Club), who raised money to help families affected by the 1984 British miner’s strike. The nation-wide Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) campaign was spawned from this, but the National Union of Mineworkers was reluctant to accept donations due to their concern about being publicly associated with a gay group. The LGSM decided to take their donations directly to Onllwyn, a small mining town in Wales, where their generosity was welcomed by their union spokesperson Dai Donovan (Paddy Considine, The World’s End). After overcoming initial conflicts with the community at large, friendships begin to forge and the alliance began to raise publicity.