20 June 2015

Movie Review: Pride




I was totally surprised and very happy by this movie. While I had many LGB and T peers after high school, none were political. I was the only one -- really. So, what I found most refreshing about the movie is that it was different than my experience in adolescence. The actors made it an emotionally suspenseful and gripping movie.

The movie is about the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners movement who that collected over £11,000 for the striking miners in Wales in 1984-1985. The strike was an utter failure for a number of reasons unrelated to LGSM. The result, however, was that the persistent support for the miners helped to alter Labour's relationship with LGBT rights. It powerfully describes the kind of bigotry and violence against LGBTs that we associate today with autocratic African rulers.

The underlying theme in the story is to show the similarity between the struggles of the working class are not so different from the struggles of most LGBTs. As I recall it, Christian conservatives in the US marketed, very successfully, that LGBTs are, on average, better off economically, than their "straight" counterparts using some kind of non-scientific survey that included the notion that a two income earning household without children has more disposable income than a household with children. Then, whenever LGBT political groups pushed for anti-discrimination legal protections, these proposed measures would be characterized as "special rights." But the truth is is that most LGBTs are less well off than their "straight" counterparts -- especially LGBTs of color and Ts in particular.

It seems quite natural that LGBTs (even those not of the working class) have a natural affinity with the working classes. And this movie does a great job of telling how that has worked out in real history.

The star of the movie (although not billed that way) is American actor Ben Schnetzer. He added a little weight for the role and played the kind of political young homo activist that I would have taken home to my mother! He did a great job.

As an afterthought, I ought to mention that the movie is also haunted by then coming AIDS public health disaster. The innocence of LGBT activism in the time of AIDS is when this story took place.

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