Film Review: PRIDE

Directed by Matthew Warchus
Written by Stephen Beresford
Starring Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Ben Schnetzer, George MacKay, Faye Marsay, Imelda Staunton

You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by PRIDE. In 1984, miners in Wales are in the midst of a mining strike largely caused by Thatcher’s complete indifference to their hard lot. A group of gay Londoners back in England are moved by the Welsh miner’s plight but also looking for an opportunity to bring their personal strife to public attention. AIDS had begun to impact the British gay population by then. So the gay activists organize themselves into a busload of supporters and travel to Wales, where they are accepted by a few but dismissed by the majority who feel that aligning with the gays can only hurt their cause–and besides they are gay!

You can pretty much intuit the rest of the plot from this. And although it was a solid telling of the story, it failed to elevate it into art. A director like John Sayles may have been able to kick it up a notch by not feeling he had to make everyone lovable, cute and pure. This is the sort of film you are glad to have seen, glad to be informed by, but in the end settles into something TV might do very well.

Patti Abbott