PRIDE, a teacher's review
Here's the second review about this film that will be an opportunity for our Terminale students to think about, discuss and illustrate the four notions in their curriculum.
‘’A victory for the miners is a victory for us all.” Acting almost as the last chapter of a trilogy to which Billy Elliot and Brassed Off (‘Les Virtuoses’) belong comes Pride, the true story of how a group of gay men and lesbian women showed their support towards Welsh miners during the infamous 1984-1985 strike in Great Britain. During the Gay Pride of 1984, young Joe (referred to by his hometown as ‘Bromley’) becomes part of the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) group led by their charismatic leader Mark Ashton. Seeing as the mining community suffers from the same degree of harassment and oppression by the police, government and media, Ashton convinces his fellow members to help the miners by collecting money as a show of support. In travelling down to Dulais (South-Wales), the group is first greeted with some hostility by the miners whereas their wives quickly welcome them with open arms. As the story unfolds, the miners gradually open up to the group and come to accept them as a vital ally in their protest despite some everlasting antagonism from some of the villagers. Though the film doesn’t avoid the inevitable set of clichés in treating with such a subject, Matthew Warchus’ second feature is above all a work from the heart as he films the story of how an almost forgotten community become the voice of equality for all. With both the context of the miners’ strike and the rapid spread of AIDS in the mid-80s, the film offers a view of the strife and struggles which faced the gay and lesbian community in a time of social turmoil. With a smashing cast led by a shining Ben Schnetzer (Mark) and emotional performances by Dominic West, Andrew Scott and a heart-breaking closeted Bill Nighy, the film’s heart belongs to George MacKay (Joe) with whom we go through a story of self-discovery as 20-year-old ‘Bromley’ slowly discovers that he has a voice and that he must use it and ultimately confront his parents’ narrow-mindedness. That isn’t to say that the film lacks compelling female leads; whilst Imelda Staunton’s (of Harry Potter repute) acting is inspired, Faye Marsay as Steph offers the same spontaneity and warmth as the late Charlotte Coleman did in another Brit favourite Four Weddings and a Funeral. Indeed, to say that this will soon become a home favourite is undeniable; with a cracking soundtrack and a colourful, yet honest, depiction of one of the most turbulent and defining times in British social history, Pride holds its colours high and serves as a reminder to the current generation that despite tough times, there’s always a need for tolerance and coming together to see just how much we are all alike.
Tags: Movie, English, baccalauréat
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