LGBTQ Movie History - December 10, 1984: LONDON: LGBT's Raise Funds for Striking Coal Miners

LGBTQ Movie History – December 10, 1984: LONDON: LGBT’s Raise Funds for Striking Coal Miners

Dec 10 1984 – Over 1,500 people join the “Pits and Perverts” gig, organized by Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners in Camden, (As seen in the movie PRIDE) to raise money to support the Miners’ Strike. Some £5000 is raised towards striking pit communities at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners  campaign and in turn made allies out the most least likely.

Peter Bradshaw, reviewing for The Guardian, described the film as “impassioned and lovable”. Bradshaw praised performances of the cast, including Bill Nighy’s “taciturn shyness” in his portrayal as Cliff and the “dignified and intelligent performance” from Paddy Considine as Dai. Geoffrey Macnab said Staunton’s performance as the matriarchal Hefina was “part Mother Courage and part Hilda Ogden”.[ Ben Schnetzer’s performance as Mark Ashton drew positive reviews. Charlotte O’Sullivan, writing for the London Evening Standard, said: “Schnetzer is a New Yorker with an unpromising CV (he was one of the few good things about The Book Thief) and he’s fantastic here”.

But it seems that all LGBT movies come with some controversy.

In January 2015, it was reported that the cover of the US DVD release of the film makes no mention of the gay content. A standard description of “a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists” was reduced to “a group of London-based activists”, and a lesbian and gay banner was removed from a photograph on the back cover.

The absence of any mention of Mark Ashton’s communist beliefs in the film, despite his position as the leader of the youth branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), has become a point of contention for his surviving friends. Fellow communist activist and a close friend of Mark Ashton, Lorraine Douglas, accused the film of having “glossed over Mark’s politics and said nothing about the fact he subsequently became General Secretary of the YCL”, the youth wing of the CPG

Despite these issues PRIDE is an extraordinary movie that every LGBT and Q person should see if you haven’t already.

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