In the summer of 1984 the mining strikes were in full force. This film is based on the true story of a group based in London who decided that they would like to help the miners during this difficult time. They understood the clashes with police, Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners.
The only problem with this was that in the 80s many people were still against gay people and especially when you then try to talk to mining communities. Who were obviously made up of mainly men, who were intimated by gay men and didn’t want anything to do with them. The group is led by Mark and he won’t let anything stop him fighting for the cause.
A small village in Wales eventually agree to take the money off the group and invite them all across from London to the community. You can imagine how this is going to go. But it also changes everything as well. I have to admit that I hadn’t even heard about this story before, I have heard many things about the mining strikes (it was a few years before I was born) and the Thatcher effect on all of this.
I also wanted to see this film with Bill Nighy being in it, yes I still do totally love him! His part in this isn’t huge but he adds his own humour at times as well. Some scenes really are hilarious and without mentioning anything too dirty, think of the old Welsh ladies finding things in the gay men’s bedroom! Honestly that is just a fantastic scene to watch.
The film has quite a lot of British actors who you will recognise, the running time is pretty long but don’t let that put you off as I found it very engaging and such thought-provoking that it was only 30 years ago. Hopefully we can see how times have changed and equality is much better now. But let’s face it the acts shown in this film would have changed a lot of people’s views forever.
It gives the audience a look into how gay people dealt with different things and the storyline involving Joe and hiding himself from his parents was always going to end badly. But also good to see how difficult it was for young people (and probably still is?) to be honest about who they are. But the fact he then had a group of friends who knew exactly what he had been through.
The film does take some hard-hitting turns and as it goes on the mention of AIDs comes about and you know it’s not all going to be a happy ending, or is it? But that is something that was also a huge part of the 80s. I have to say though the final scene nearly made me cry as I thought it was just lovely. On Saturday night when seeing this at the cinema, the audience was more old people than younger people. So I am guessing they can possibly remembering hearing about this at the time.
I would recommend this film because not only is it a heartwarming story but it is a lovely British film. I don’t think we get enough British films at the moment and need more of them really. As this just shows that it still works having hard-hitting stories and subjects but together in an enjoyable way to watch them. So hopefully this will get big audiences as people really should give this film a go!