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To kick off our monthly movie nights, UniQ screened the 2014 film Pride. We have done so the past two years. At UniQ, we’re big fans of the film’s core message: solidarity.
Pride takes place at the dawn of neoliberalism, when Margaret “Fucking” Thatcher ruled the UK with an iron fist and waged a renewed war on the working class. The film gives a particular to the Welsh mining village of Onllwyn, which was driven to the economic brink by Thatcher’s policies.
On the other side of the narrative coin is a group of gay and lesbian activists in London, who have their work cut out for them, convincing a group of urban queers to support a rural demographic with a track record of homophobia (which some of them escaped). And most importantly — they do it.
They form Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners (LGSM — check out their Twitter account). They raise money for Onllwyn, they fight alongside the villagers against Thatcher’s government, and they build the oh-so-sweet bonds of solidarity in the process.
At a time when both communities were already in a state of crisis (yes, there is a delicately-handled HIV subplot), this would have been an enormous undertaking. Thankfully, we can learn Pride’s lessons in full because the people portrayed are not only real, and are not only (mostly) still alive (R.I.P. Mark Ashton), but were key contributors to the film’s creation.
At UniQ we intend to honour that legacy by setting its precedent at the start of every year: that we’re all in the struggle against neoliberalism, against capitalism, together. That these systems thrive when we remain divided by identity and pitted against each other. Pride shows us that opening our doors to each other instead is absolutely essential if we are ever to truly fight back.