It's 1985, and in London a group of young gay men and women (well, one woman to begin with) led by the charismatic, Irish Mark Ashton, are raising money to help embattled miners, for no other reason than that they know what it's like to be picked on too. There are dissenters on both sides- the miners, already bruised by not being able to provide for their families, are reluctant to accept the gay community's support; some of the gay men who've escaped to London remember being beaten up by the men the group are trying to protect, or feel that the group's energies might be best spent elsewhere.
The group perseveres and eventually strikes it lucky with a tiny Welsh village who are willing to engage with them, including hardcore matriarch Hefina, dapper poetry-reading gent Cliff, mild-mannered Dai, and Sian James, a young working-class mum with a Rubenesque figure and a defiant mop of 1980s hair. Between them, they turn a clash of cultures into something transcendent, all the more awe-inspiring because it actually happened.
The film doesn't pull any punches in depicting the suffering and pain of both communities- in one early scene, where Dai addresses a London gay bar, Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Two Tribes' is playing- a neat trick that references not only the coming together of the two very different 'tribes,' but the other life-and-death threat of the Eighties- nuclear war, which along with Thatcher's not-so-gentle politics and the presence of HIV (foregrounded in the presence of that chilling 'tombstone,' ad that terrified generations) rendered the activism of the time more absolute, more black-and-white, more vital. It was particularly interesting to watch 'Pride,' in the context of the recent Scottish referendum and to be proud of both sides of that debate for re-introducing some of that vigour and anger into today's blurred, muted, real-time political landscape. The cinema was filled with a real sense of occasion, and some of the audience were clapping at the end. 'Pride' is a potentially life-changing film that reminds us to look after those close to us, but to make sacrifices when you truly believe in something.