Film Preview - Rainbow Union Carpets for Pride Movie Opening

I was extremely lucky to be invited to the #redcarpet preview screening of the @pridemovieuk as part of @bectu and it was honestly, such a very funny, emotional and powerful film, I just had to share it with the world.

This review, might be unlike any other you read in the press or filmic blogs this year, as it’s written from the point of view of a young active unionist.

I’ve always been interested in workers history, women’s rights and the stories and empowerment of LGBT communities, (it’s actually is a big part of my work) so not only was this a film that looked interesting to me, it also happened to have a character in it I know in real life. David, or Dai in the film, played by Paddy Considine, was not only a great character, but well portrayed too! He is that great a dude in real life!

With a star cast including Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton it will hopefully capture the interest of most regular cinema go-ers, but also educate them in the amazing and powerful story of the National Union of Miners and the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM).

This story paved the way for not only union history, but LGBT history being take seriously in parliament too, so it’s great to see a forgotten story getting some screen time. The film follows the LGSM raise funds in support of the miners and when they try to pass the donations on, come across the unfortunately common prejudice of “not wanting to take charity off puffs”, but they finally find a local Welsh community where a star character called Gwen (played by the fantastically hilarious actor Menna Trussler) answers the phone at the Dulais, South Wales community centre and invites them over.

The story follows the prejudice and rejections of the mining community to the LGSM when they turn up in their rural village. But soon brings a tear to the eye to see a handful of the characters standing up for people being people and realising they were all fighting their own battles, trying to break down the default opinions of the “every day miner families”. There’s some travelling back and forwards from London to Wales to juxtapose the two community’s stories, before coming together in a positive and empowering ending.
Some of the features of the storyline include following Joe (George MacKay) coming out to his family and joining in his first, and subsequently at the end, his second march; the everyday issues the characters have going on in their lives along with standing on picket lines and fighting for what they believe in; but most of all throughout the film you have the strong empowered lump in your throat of solidarity.

Solidarity isn’t a word the UK really uses much any more, but to me it means the world. It doesn’t have to be about being in a union either. It could be standing up for what your beliefs are, the communities you’re part of, or just standing up for who you are. But, the main story to take away from this film, and the feeling evoked from the word solidarity, is standing together, as one, to be a strong unit. The more collective opinions and voice you have, the more chance you have of being heard – sounds logical right?!
I’ve been so empowered by this film, I took a friend as a plus one, and to be honest I didn’t really think it would be his bag but “it was great! Not just because it was great to see a film heavy with LGBT people and issues, it was actually just a good film too.” Pretty much sums it up for me.

I walked in my first union march, almost two years today and it was a great feeling to be part of a collective voice, to stand tall amongst others who wanted to stand up for other people, for the greater good, for things that matter, and to remove those awful prejudices that still exist, even today 20 years on after this film was set.

I walked out of this film, proud to be part of a union, and proud of this history, and someone that was part of it.

I’d like to think it will inspire some cinema go-ers into joining a union, or a community group, or even just to think before they respond to someone with a negative prejudice.

At the end of the day, we are all people, and we are all striving for a good life. Care about others? Go see this film!