In 1984 20 year old closet gay Joe hesitantly arrives in London from Bromley for his first Gay Pride march and is taken under the collective wing of a group of gay men and Lesbian Steph, who meet at flamboyant Jonathan and his Welsh partner Gethin's Soho bookshop. Not only are gays being threatened by Thatcher but the miners are on strike in response to her pit closures and Northern Irish activist Mark Ashton believes gays and miners should show solidarity. Almost by accident a mini-bus full of gays find themselves in the Welsh village of Onllwyn in the Dulais valley and through their sincere fund raising and Jonathan's nifty disco moves persuade most of the community that they are on the same side. When a bigot tries to sabotage the partnership with a tabloid smear Mark turns it back on her with a hugely successful benefit concert to which most of the villagers, now thoroughly in tune with their gay friends, turn up. The miners are defeated and return to work but at the Pride march ...Written by
don @ minifie-1
In interviews to promote the film, Bill Nighy said that the emancipation of gay men and women in the UK in the post-Thatcher years was one of the greatest things to have happened in his lifetime. See more »
When Mark Ashton proposes the founding of LGSM, he holds up a newspaper with the front page showing an iconic photograph of a mounted policeman about to strike a woman. This was taken by John Harris at the so-called "Battle of Orgreave". Although subsequently famous, the photograph was still obscure in June 1984, when the scene is set. See more »
I saw this yesterday at a preview and was particularly impressed by the amazing production values shown in this film, as well as the powerful warmth of the ensemble cast within this. Many stand out, to the point where everyone stands out. My personal favourite performances are probably Dominic West's because of his wonderful energy, fantastic delivery and that the fact that he was playing a gay men (and was significantly less creepy than his Fred West performance) and Jessica Gunning's who played her play with such warmth and fire. That said, Staunton, Nighty and Schnetzer et all had some determination as well, it really is that not to want to give individual props to all.
British humour tends to be our best selling point and this film lays bare just how raw and witty we can be in our dialogue when handling such powerful drama. That said, the film is a very difficult viewing experience, in my eyes. The Miners Strike alone is a very raw and sad event for all to see, especially when there will be absolutely no surprises as to the outcome. On top of this there is a plethora of tragic LGBT issues that further hit the viewer like a fist throughout, be it a family not accepting their gay son, the Miners' refusal to fully support the LBGT community when the going gets tougher (the bleakness of those scenes are particularly devastating), the start of AIDS and the knowledge that these men's lives will never be the same, the occasional violence shown to the gay men the list really does go on. The fact that there is a strong undercurrent of humour throughout is particularly needed and welcomed, although towards the end it proves hard to laugh at. Many look back to the 80s with total joy, but for many people, they were uncertain, intensely painful years to survive in. This movie is a tribute to them, and the cast and crew provide their joie de vivre with an open, pulsating heart.
Watch this preparing to feel a wide variety of emotions. Not all settling.
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