DVD Review: Pride
I grew up in England during Thatcherism. My father was a union man. My politics were simple, and set in stone from an early age. But despite all this, I had never heard of the story behind Pride until recently.
Based on an extraordinary true story, Pride is set in the summer of 1984. Margaret Thatcher is supreme leader and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike. The media and police are backing the Iron Lady, in her attempts to crush the unions for once and for all. At the same time a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists notice that the police are not taking much notice of their activities, and their leader realises the reason why; instead of harassing them, they have joined ranks against the minors. Feeling an empathy for there cause, they decide to raise money to support the strikers’ families.
This of course doesn’t go down well on either side of the fence. Many in their group remember the miners as being homophobic, and the miners union at first makes it plain that they are in fact homophobic.
Not to be deterred, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person, raising a few eyebrows in the process.
Pride manages to cover quite a lot of ground. There is the coming of age story/coming out story for an initially unwilling member of the group. There is the breaking down of prejudices, the role of the media, police and government, as well as the huge impact of AIDS.
Whilst Pride manages to hum along at a good pace, with a decidedly feel good vibe running through it, it does skirt with the darker side of the story. Homophobia turning violent, politics turning nasty and parents turning into jailers.
But no matter what facet of the story you connect with, the ending will bring a smile to the face of even the most cynical.
Cliched in places, playing hard and fast with the facts, Pride might not be a good historical look at 1984, but with a great cast, plenty of bad hair and a whole lot of colour, it probably is the feel good DVD of the year.
Rating: M Offensive language, sexual references and drug use.