"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.