London Film Academy

‘Pride’ - A look back on #NationalComingOutDay

11 October 2021

Image credits © Pathé / 20th Century Fox 

Matthew Warchus’ empowering and moving film from 2014 tells the true story of striking Welsh miners, and the gay men and lesbians who rallied to support them in their fight for better working conditions in the mines, in the 1980s. Although the unionized miners were reluctant to accept money from the ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ activist group, the film heartwarmingly shows how their negative assumptions and barriers begin to break down, when they see the passion and kindness of the LGBTQ+ group. 

Image credits © Pathé / 20th Century Fox 

This unusual alliance from two seemingly incompatible groups leads to a charming and important story about solidarity, friendship, and unity; a positive example of how to put aside differences, to come together, in the name of an important cause. Warchus explains: 

Pride engages the audience not in party politics or preachy agendas, but in much bigger concepts of generosity and compassion. As I sat down to edit the film, it dawned on me that the film is, in a way, a classic romantic comedy. But the relationship isn’t between individuals, but between two groups, or communities. And they are driven not by romantic love, but by compassion. I think it reminds us of the idea of society – that there is, of course, such a thing after all.

Matthew Warchus

 

Image credits © BBC 

The historically based film is unique in its tone, choosing to tackle tough political issues with a healthy dose of tongue in cheek comedy, in a style evocative of Peter Cattaneo’s ‘The Full Monty’ from the late 90s. The film’s writer, Stephen Beresford, spoke about his decision to keep the film firmly grounded in the world of comedy: 

When I first met Matthew, it was our first conversation: the idea of making things funny and popular. But at the same time being full of subjects that are difficult or dark. It strikes that the truth of every situation is it’s always funny. Everything is funny. It seems that it’s more truthful. I find I believe it more if people are making jokes because that’s how it works. Even if the jokes are little, and even if the jokes are happening at very inappropriate moments. People do always crack a joke, no matter what the situation.

Stephen Beresford

 

Today is #NationalComingOutDay, the LGBTQ+ awareness day that celebrates the love, and encourages solidarity, of the LGBTQ+ community. Although the true story behind ‘Pride’ took place in 1984, 4 years before American activists Richard Eichberg and Jean O’Leary established #NationalComingOutDay, the film’s upbeat message encapsulates the essence of what today is all about; solidarity, compassion and finding the common ground between us all, no matter how different we may seem on the surface. So, if you haven’t got around to watching ‘Pride’ yet, today is the day! And if it’s already a favourite of yours, it’s almost definitely time for a re-watch! #Pride #NationalComingOutDay   


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