In life we sometimes get support and encouragement from very unlikely and unexpected people.
That certainly was the case for a group of Welsh miners in the small village of Onllywyn during the summer of 1984, in the midst of the very contentious National Union of Mineworkers strike, fighting the Conservative Party government of the “Iron Lady” herself, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
A London-based group of of gay and lesbian activists, who voluntarily organized themselves into something they called Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners, began raising funds to provide food and other supplies for the miners and their families who were in dire straits after months with no income.
“Pride” is the uplifting and entertaining film, directed by Matthew Warchus, that focuses on the initially reluctant then ultimately accepting attitude the straight residents of Onllywyn directed toward their gay and lesbian advocates. The cast includes some of the finest actors Britain has turned out, including such veterans as Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine, but also excellent younger actors like American-born but London-based Ben Schnetzker, stellar as the gay activist who spearheaded the whole campaign. Also noteworthy are the stellar performances by George MacKay as a closeted young photographer and Irish actor Andrew Scott as a Welshman long estranged from his home and family because he was gay.
This film moves effortlessly from some pretty intense dramatic moments to hilarious scenes showcasing the contrasting lifestyles of the gay and straight worlds to some vignettes of incredible poignancy.
In the final analysis, “Pride” artfully proves that many kinds of people who may appear to have nothing in common actually share more than they might realize. Oppression and rejection can touch individuals within all kinds of societies and cultures.
When those disparate groups connect and realize they are battling a common enemy, true solidarity often is the end result.
CBS Films presents a film directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford. Running time: 117 minutes. Rated R (for language and brief sexual content).