Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review of "Pride"

A lovely, uplifting film. Well, it was for me, anyway. These days (not in the period it depicts) I have friends with a wider range of views, and I'm sure some of them won't find its depiction of working-class solidarity in the face of state repression, prejudice and corporate-sponsored asset stripping that uplifting. For me, though, this was beautiful, poignant, funny, and very enjoyable. I was involved in a miners' support group in North London - well, all right, in Hampstead and Highgate Labour Party - and I felt a little flicker of pride in my own small connection with this.

Super acting from all your favourite British actors, especially Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, and they must have had so much fun with the art direction.

I wasn't expecting a surprise ending - after all, we all know that the miners lost. But I really didn't know about the NUM contingent at the front of the Gay Pride march in 1985. A big lump in my throat for that, and actual tears for the singing in the working men's club.

A small final observation, which is hinted at near the end, when the Pride organisers try to take banners with political slogans out of the 1985 march; support for gay rights is now pretty mainstream,  and 'apolitical', whereas in the 1980s the Tories thought that opposition to gays was a vote-winner; Section 28 of the Local Government Act prohibiting the 'promotion' of homosexuality wasn't introduced until 1988, three years after the film's setting. On the other hand, solidarity with workers on strike now feels like it belongs to the age of chivalry. The two movements passed each other along the way, and this film captures that moment.

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