This funny, touching, irresistibly entertaining British film tells the true story of the unlikely alliance forged at the height of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike between a group of gay and lesbian activists and the inhabitants of a small mining village in South Wales.
Pride is an unashamedly feelgood comedy-drama, much in the spirit of Made in Dagenham and Billy Elliot, and director Matthew Warchus and screenwriter Stephen Beresford rarely pass up the opportunity for crowd-pleasing touches.
So there is much broad culture-clash humour when the London-based activists turn up in the village of Onllwyn in the Dulais Valley, each one a proverbial sore thumb; and the comedy gets broader still when some of the villagers pay a return visit and a bunch of miners’ wives go on a tour of leather bars.
But there is heart and soul here, too, in the warmly sympathetic performances from the likes of Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine among the Welsh, and Dominic West, Andrew Scott, George Mackay and Ben Schnetzer among their gay supporters.
Pride also delivers plenty of shrewd insights into the period it depicts, starting with the gay activists’ decision to raise funds for the striking miners. The impulse comes from the recognition of the affinity between them: they both get bashed by the cops and tabloids. And you don’t have to look too hard to find resonances with the present in the film’s rousing message of empathy and solidarity.
Certificate 15. Runtime 120 mins. Director Matthew Warchus.