This week, BUFS opens the Winter Season with Pride. By the time you read these lines, you’ll know if Matthew Warchus’s dark horse, described by some as Billy Elliott meets Milk, won the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy. Having already taken several British Independent Film awards, as well as the Queer Palme at Cannes, it isn’t as much of a long shot as one might think.
Based on a true story, Pride follows a group of gay activists in Thatcher’s Britain in 1984, where the mineworkers’ strike drags on. The activists, led by Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer), identify with the violence and hardship faced by the strikers, and they’ve learned a few things about bringing attention to important causes. So they form an organization, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and set about raising money for the striking mineworkers—only to find that no one wants their help. Mineworkers all over England refuse the aid, not because it isn’t desperately needed, but because they don’t want to be publicly affiliated with the gay rights movement.
Then, more or less accidentally, LGSM connects with a tiny mining town in Wales. After some initial wariness, bonds are forged and an unlikely union of forces changes the way that people see one another. The rest is, quite literally, history.
Acclaimed theatre director Matthew Warchus leads an incredible cast of new and seasoned actors, including Bill Nighy (Love, Actually), Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), and Dominic West (The Wire).
Pride screens Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Cinemas, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.