The working-class British film has churned out some amazing films since the mid-nineties that have grown more and more popular in the years since. We’ve had Billy Elliot (2000) and The Full Monty (1997) representing the men & mining communities. The Blood & Ice Cream trilogy (2004-2013) topping the best of British comedy. And finally, This is England (2006) successfully representing the best and worst of a decade ruled under Thatcher and possibly being the best and most important British drama of the last 10 years.
Pride is a bit of an amalgamation of themes from all of these great films. So much so, for a split second I felt a bit “Urgh, it’s just like all the other working-class themed films we’ve seen before. Mining communities, set in the 1980s, Thatcher, working-class, etc. etc.” How wrong I was. Yes, it takes place in the year which the infamous miner’s strike of 1984 took place. It follows a group of sparky homosexuals, who have had their fair share of protesting and battered spirits and the Police to contend with. So when the Police start to have their attention focused on the striking Miners rather than the gay community, it’s that very group that decide to raise money for the Miners whether they like it or not. Following their mantra to help kindred, demoralised souls.
As you can imagine, most working-class people don’t like to associate with the out and proud in the mid 1980s. This was for fear that they too would be seen as gay, because that’s how homosexuality works, don’t you know. Many people rejected their help apart from one small mining town in South Wales. So off to Wales it was to do some good. The journey is not without it’s troubles, for every member of the “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners” group, we delve into the real issues not just for the mining community, but mainly for the gay community. Whether its coming out, abuse, AIDs or simply trying to live a healthy, happy life, none of it is easy.
This film is as colourful as the symbol of Pride itself. A glorious roller coaster of laughs and tears, all cemented by the excellent storytelling and compelling narrative that hooks you all the way through. This makes you realise that it is not simple a copy cat of every other working class British film that has gone before it. It may be piggy backing on the success of those films, but it’s a cracker in it’s own right. The true story behind the narrative just solidifies how much you need to see this film.
So, to sum up: Heart-warming, poignant and important, though the lesbian community seems a bit sidelined to make way for the masculine sub-themes. It makes for a great tribute to a brilliantly real story that I can’t believe hasn’t been snapped up earlier.
Other films you may enjoy: The Full Monty (1997), East is East (1997) and basically every good British comedy with a working-class theme.
If you’re a fan of film reviews, you might want to read about why Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2003) is the best in the series, and my close scene analysis of Lost in Translation.