„…when we stand hand in hand…“

Among the latest movies about solidarity, labor and political striking is „Pride“ (2014) by Matthew Warchus.

In the eighties in several Welsh villages, miners are striking against the closing of their working places. A group of lesbian and gay acitivists from London, who struggle against the regime of Margaret Thatcher, just as the miners do, recognize the strike. They decide to show their solidarity and thus start collecting money for the miners, naming themselves „LGSM“ – „Lesbians and Gays Supporting the Miners“.
The film focusses solidarity between different movements. It drives the interesting conclusion that the same economical base (work) and the same enemy (government) can bring people together, even if they face each other without sympathy at first.
The film shows that people can integrate what the state can not. Excluded gays and lesbians brought themselves into the centre of attention of „usual“ miners‘ families. No governmental action brought them so far, but the figth against governmental restrictions.
The film of course has its weak points, such as a marching scene, in which the miners return to the mines – waving flags and playing music. In reality, returning to work after being defeated would have been a bit more sad.
Anyway, it is a funny film about solidarity with some profound insights, worth some off-hours.

„Pride“ is not the only contemporary movie of that kind (about people’s rights, labour strikes). Here are two recommendations for those of you, who already enjoyed the film above:

  1. „The Parade“ (2011) is a Serbian film about gays and gangsters fighting against homophobic prejudice. Militant, amusing and sad at the same time it is rather an entertaining than drastic film.
  2. Made in Dagenham“ (2010) is a film about working women’s rights and a political strike in 1968 in the UK. It shows how economical means of coercion get those a hearing who are buried alive and without rights in the dark of the factories. 

All in all I have to admit, that the time of a real emancipatory cinema with the more valuable outlooks towards a free society, personal freedom and mutual aid is yet to come, even if it is already partly realized in some today’s films. But that’s not too bad: The best is yet to come!

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