Pride is a film that showcases a piece of history for the queer community; to have it immortalized on the big screen allows for that history to reach much further than before. It is so refreshing to see LGBTQ+ characters portrayed in a positive light and not being killed off for the betterment of a straight character. That’s including some of the more questionable fashion decisions, but hey, it’s the 80s. There were many bad fashion decisions made at that time (I am not including Steph’s fabulous hair or Mark’s kick-ass leather jacket; they are and forever will be iconic).
The film tells the story of a group of people who decide they’re going to fight for another group that is being oppressed. During the 1984 Miners Strike in Europe, a group of queer people came together and decided to help them fight back against then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. This film showcases the true story and the fight that they carried on.
In Pride, we meet many characters that are so uniquely different but they’re not there to just be there. Each person is represented as a person and not just their sexuality. With the film being based on a true story, it probably helps a fair amount.
The focus of the film is, of course, revolved around the miners’ strike and the prejudice that the queer community faced back then, but there was another plot line that is very identifiable for closeted queer people. This plot line is shown through Joe, a closeted gay man who lets his family control his life. Even now in 2018, there are so many people that can identify with his character.
The little digs his family makes about someone being gay are all too familiar to someone who lives in a home with a homophobic family. Joe gaining his confidence to finally stand up to them and walking out of his house is something that so many people fantasize about being able to do. In the end, he loses his family, he gains an entirely new one. He gets to be free and be himself without fear.
At one point in the film, Mark writes down the number for a hotline for queer people under the posters of Elton John (I’m not ashamed to admit that I squealed a bit when I saw his likeness) and Soft Cell. It was such an awesome moment, especially after they’d just been scoffed at for asking for someone to play at a benefit concert just because they’re queer.
No movie would be complete without there being a “villain” character that needs to stand in their way. Initially, you’d think it would come from the union reps or even Margaret Thatcher but it actually turns out to really be someone in the very town that Lesbians and Gay’s Support the Miners is there to help. Her role had not that much screen time, however, she had just enough to make herself the strongest voice of hate within the film. Well, of someone that we actively had a name for.
With her few scenes, Maureen Barry manages to have the power to undermine what L.G.S.M. is there to do. She manages to keep her sons from being able to open their minds. She’s the reason that they get kicked out of the town and their help is “no longer needed” by the miners union. This all happens because she has so much bias against the queer community that she doesn’t want them to help in any way. The sad thing is that there are still people out there who think the same way that she does.
Currently, the film is available to rent on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it to everyone.