I watched it and I absolutely Loved It!
What can say that hasn’t been said by other reviewers already? This film was magnificent. There was so much going on here, from the discrimination faced by gays and lesbians for the sexuality at the hands of their families, the London community, and some of the miners (initially). Some do not let go of their prejudice (sadly) and this is a reflection of our reality. Nowadays, many will not let go of their prejudice, they will not tolerate, they will not respect. Fear motivates their hateful actions such as that one matron in the film, and many others, who couldn’t see past others’ differences. As a bisexual Mexican woman I know what it’s like to face what one of the gays face -self-isolation and ostracism from your own family. Growing up in unsafe environment where I was exposed to violence at an early age -where some of my friends’ parents when I was in high-school were wary of letting them stay or come into my house because one corrupt policeman who had been threatened by the people he once protected (and accepted bribes), was staying in the security building across from me- and bigotry. Like so many, I said nothing, I stayed quiet and nodded my head at what my ultra-religious family members said, at what my prejudiced and racist father said because I wanted to be loved by them. Even when they hit me, or when my mother did something so bad that I still try hard to repress, I told myself praying to the rosary that this was my fault. I was rebellious and had to be more conservative and agree with their views -even when I knew in my heart of hearts that they were wrong- to be loved and embraced.
*But* you don’t have to be something you are not, as Mark Ashton, the unofficial leader of the LGSM (Lesbians Gays for Striking Miners) Movement tells his friend, who has been placed under house arrest and has an unaccepting, hypocritically smiling and ultra conservative mother who does not accept that her son is gay, and his family shows the same prejudice. You have to be yourself. Stan up for yourself. And I know what you are thinking: “Easier said than done!”
Yes! Easier said than done. However it must be done. Things won’t change unless we stand up and if we have crappy family members as Joe, the person in question who fabulously told his mother ‘go to hell’ (in pleasanter terms of course) and his wife and brother in law that he doesn’t care what they think anymore and that he is going to be free to be his own person, free from the people that were holding him back and were unaccepting towards him; we must follow this example. I am still afraid of my family members, my dad knows dangerous people that can kill people; my other family members are no different. However, it must be done. I reiterate this point because we must move away from the people that are harmful to us, that only seek to make us feel less than humans. We are not lesser people. All of us, each one of us is wonderful and unique in our own way. And this movie makes you see that. When we move past our petty differences and learn to love one another, we can achieve so many things. I am proud of being the descendant of so many strong peoples: African, Tarahumara, Japanese, Lybians, Spaniards, etc, and I am proud of being bi-sexual and I am no longer afraid or ashamed to admit it. Working together, admitting that there is a problem in our society, and pushing forward for equality (and this means defending women’s rights, gay rights, transsexual rights, everyone’s rights) is not a step backwards, it is a step forward and a beautiful one too because it promotes love.
Many parts in this movie had me crying (and I am not a sentimental person). At the end during the 1985 June LGBT Pride Parade in London, it was so beautiful to see the Minors coming to support their Lesbians and Gay friends, and I cried when the letters appeared saying how some were inspired to go to college, others continued to work for social justice, and finally the banner appears of the Welsh symbol that was so talked about in the movie: Two hands joined together in Friendship.
That last symbol had me in tears, it was so beautiful and moving. It’s a part of history that should not be forgotten; and one that everyone should view or show to their friends and significant others, because it is a brilliantly done, brilliantly acted film of a true story that is very inspiring.
For more information on the real people behind the LGSM movement, here’s this article: http://www.winq.com/2014/09/real-activists-behind-pride-movie-reminisce/