Saturday, 21 February 2015

Pride: written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus

This week I've overdosed on 'identity' in various forms and this blog felt like it needed a spring clean and a new title. It took a while to think of as so many are taken, especially if you reference music or literature. Anyway, for now this space is 'Black Hearted Love', a PJ Harvey song of course. I've also put my full name on Facebook and changed my twitter handle so feeling a little over exposed right now...links to the right if you want to befriend or follow.

Film recommendation this week is 'Pride', based on a  true story of the struggles of the LGBT community and the Miners in 1984. This seemingly unlikely union is powerful and touching. Both groups were being battered by Thatcher's administration, the police and the tabloid media with the black cloud of Aids adding fuel to the fire of ground level prejudice.

Set on the road between London and Wales, it starts and ends at a Pride March, led by activist Mark Ashton. A story of common interest and fighting a common enemy:

Socialism, humour and heartbreaking losses, all to a soundtrack that includes Bronski Beat, Yazoo, King, Dead or Alive, with all the campery and fun, the women were pretty fab and integral in this film too;  no manic pixie dreams girls to be seen here. 'Pride'  is a feel good film, but also deadly serious portrayal of the collective power that a Tory government seek to fracture. To quash any hint of a labour movement. And though this all sounds so serious, the film is made by a script written with a humour that could draw in those that might usually turn away.

A movement written out of history, this film repairs some of the damage done by the 2011's 'The Iron Lady' where not a miner was mentioned, very conveniently.  'Pride' reminds us that activism is worthy, that 'Pits and Perverts' gave strength despite the miners being defeated and those communities still suffering today. I'm not sure if that passion or that labour movement still exists today to the same extent... but the film gives hope in a political climate where unions struggle to have any power and don't exist in the privatisation of just about everything. Watch it and work out who the real enemy is, it's certainly not  'the gays', the vulnerable who need help, or working people.

The film ends with The Communards track 'For A Friend' written for Mark Ashton who died in 1987 from an Aids related illness. A tragic loss on so many personal and political levels.

Related Links:

Pride IMDb

The British tradition that Thatcher could not destroy.

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