26 September 2014

Pride

"Pride" is a very British film. I saw it yesterday morning in "The Showroom", sitting beside my friend Mike and his wife Jill. All three of us enjoyed it immensely. It is in the mould of some other successful British films of recent years that focus upon working class life - such as "Brassed Off", "Sunshine on Leith"  and "Made in Dagenham".

Of course nowadays we associate the term "pride" with the ongoing struggle for gay rights but it is also a word that has older associations with trade union battles for example. Pride is something that people need in their lives - pride and dignity - the ability to hold your head up high and to feel proud of who you are.

In the film there is an unlikely gelling between two communities that at first appear to inhabit different planets. There's the gay and lesbian community of Camden Town in North London and there's a desperate South Wales coal mining community who are in the throes of the bitter 1984-85 miners' strike.

The colourful Londoners raise money for the Welsh pit village but at first their charity is viewed with prejudice and antagonism. As the plot progresses there is a coming together and both sides find themselves enriched, educated and enthused by the other.

It's based on a true story and when the London Pride march was held in the summer of 1985 - after the miners had been starved back to work - the parade was headed up by coal miners with their union banners. The two communities' struggles had many similarities. Both saw the establishment and Margaret Thatcher in particular as their mutual enemies.

There were some notable performances in "Pride" from Bill Nighy and Dominic West for example but also from the lesser known Jessica Gunning as the obstinate coal miner's wife Siân James (now a Labour MP) and Ben Schnetzer as gay activist Mark Ashton.

One or two phases of the film were laboured - especially in the middle section - but mostly I was well-entertained. There was laughter and there were tears and at the end the cinema audience burst into spontaneous applause. Though it is entertainment, "Pride" has some important things to say about how we should live our lives - supporting one another, maintaining a sense of humour, being fair-minded and kind. The quest for freedom is a continuing struggle for everybody.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds like a film that I would enjoy. I'll have to look into the matter and see if it's available on dvd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is still playing in the cinemas so you will have to wait a while. Maybe your son can buy you it for Christmas.

      Delete
  2. That sounds like a good film YP. I will do the same as Adrian and wait for the DVD. Loved Sunshine in Leith as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As you might expect we are looking forward to,see this movie... I am a big fan of Sheffield mr west too so there are two reasons to give it a go

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will love him in his role as flamboyant puff - Jonathan Blake - not exactly Fred West this time. He dances like John Travolta!

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a great film.....too bad I can't see it "over here". (wry grin)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not exactly Hollywood-style Kelly.

      Delete
  5. I didn't know about these real life events, but I've been reading bits and bobs about the miners' strike, and Steve told me about it, too (of course he had first-hand memories, having grown up in Wath-upon-Dearne near Barnsley).
    This sounds like a film well worth watching. And you are so right about the importance of being fair-minded and kind. If that's there, the support for others will follow naturally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably know more about the miners' strike than the vast majority of the German populace.

      Delete
  6. Same here, can't wait till the DVD comes out as it probably won't be hitting cinemas here ... a pity, as these stories are pretty much universal themes, more universal than half the stuff Hollywood comes out with anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why does DVD still sound like a disease to me?

      Delete
  7. I'll definitely look out for that when it makes DVD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect that you will enjoy it Graham. Something for your Xmas stocking if Santa's sleigh ever makes it to Lewis.

      Delete
  8. I'll have to keep an eye out for that movie as I've not yet seen it. I loved the other ones you mentioned...along with "In Bruges", "The Guard" and "Death at a Funeral".

    Bill Nighy is always wonderful and I do like Dominic West. I loved the TV series..."The Hour" with West.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.