Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising

The scene is the turbulent summer of 1984, a time of general unrest and discontent amongst the workers and citizens of the UK. Overshadowed by the miners’ strikes, the gay rights community is experiencing a temporary respite from the authorities, whose attention has now turned to the strikes. However, passionate activist Mark, sees in this shift the opportunity to not only further the gay rights movement but to also demonstrate support and solidarity amongst persecuted minorities. Recruiting some of his closest friends, they found the LGSM (Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners) and begin to campaign and fundraise in support of the miners.

All is not as smooth as Mark imagines though, as soon enough the group realises that despite their hardships, no mining union will accept an association with a gay committee. Not to be fazed, the LGSM pushes on regardless and eventually comes into contact with a community in a rural Welsh village who gladly accept their help.

But, is small-town Wales ready for the arrival of these liberal Londoners, and in turn, is the gay group realistic about the level of discrimination they are to experience? It is to be a journey of discovery for all parties and really, there are no words to describe how wonderfully the film plays it out.

Each and every character has his or her own demons to face – be it prejudice, financial uncertainty or running from the past. The closeted gay, the self-exiled Welshman returning home, the stoic bigot, all find themselves face to face with new paths and it is an eye-opening experience for all. The script is witty, funny and bittersweet – the situation lends itself naturally to many humorous incidents but there is no overplaying of either the gay element or the Welsh in favour of comedy. There are laughs where they need to be, emotion elsewhere and throughout there is an overwhelming sense of, well, Pride. One beautifully executed scene in particular, bursting with chest-swelling welsh song, sends shivers down your spine and encompasses everything that is beautiful about Welsh community.

I compel you to find time to watch it – you will laugh, you will cry and if you have an ounce of Welsh blood in you (even by association) you are guaranteed to feel proud indeed!

Film review by Patty Papageorgiou-Axford

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