Are you looking for a film to celebrate the achievements of unions this Labor Day? Are you still beaming from the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage? If so, then Pride is, quite simply, the perfect movie for you.
Pride (nominated for Best Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes) tells the surprisingly true story of the British Miner’s Strike of 1984. After British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced the closing of mines throughout the United Kingdom, miners went on strike for nearly a year, clashing violently with police and being starved of fuel and food. A small group of lesbian and gay activists, in an expression of solidarity, take up the cause and raise money for the miners as LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners). When the national union refuses to accept their money, LGSM takes it to the tiny Welsh village of Onllwyn, where an uneasy alliance eventually gives way to friendship, understanding, and results.
This movie is remarkable in a number of ways. First, it’s a true story – if it weren’t, it would seem inconceivable that two very different communities would come together in such a way. Second, it’s immensely uplifting with an inspirational message, yet it isn’t saccharine sweet or false in any way. Third, it juxtaposes the struggles that both groups face with some genuinely funny moments. And fourth, what a delightful cast: Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Paddy Considine are the most notable leads, and newcomers George Mackay, Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott and Jessica Gunning shine as well.
Most impressively, Pride accomplishes two things. It’s a wonderful addition to the canon of irresistible British crowd-pleasers like The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots. But more importantly, it reminds us of the struggles of workers (let’s face it – labor unions are a much maligned organization in this country) and of minority groups (despite recent gains, the LGBT community have much further to go to achieve full equality). So prepare yourself to be informed, entertained, and moved.
~posted by Frank