As part of the 2017 Merthyr Rising (a festival of music, art and ideas), Cardiff University and BECTU in association with Cardiff sciSCREEN will host a screening of the award-winning film Pride. The film will be followed with a Q&A with the real-life legends Dai Donavan and Sian James, played in the film by Paddy Considine and Jessica Gunning.
Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
TIME: 7-10 pm.
LOCATION: Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Village, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1UT, UK
Watch the trailer HERE.
Standard Entry: £3.50 (including £1 booking fee)
Popcorn & Soft Drink Package: £3 (optional)
Book your ticket HERE.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Tickets must be booked in advance. The film is Certificate 15.
Siân James - One of the inspirations for the film is Swansea East MP Siân James.
Siân was a housewife married to a miner in the Swansea Valley when the strikes began. She started by volunteering to help other mining families, eventually helping feed a thousand families a week across the Welsh valleys. After the strikes ended, she didn’t want to stop campaigning. She took her A-levels, got her degree, worked for the students' union, was a fundraiser for Save the Children, became a director of Welsh Women's Aid and in 2005 was elected MP for Swansea East. 2005 was elected MP for Swansea East.
Dai Donovan now works for BECTU (the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) but at the time of the 84 / 85 miners’ strike he was a trade unionist representing the miners of the Dulais valley. Famously he travelled to London at this time to accept donations from the London LGBT community at the celebrated “Pits and Perverts” benefit, a title the LGBT community reclaimed from and infamous Sun newspaper headline. During his acceptance speech he said: "You have worn our badge, Coal Not Dole, and you know what harassment means, as we do. Now we will pin your badge on us, we will support you. It won't change overnight, but now 140,000 miners know that there are other causes and other problems. We know about blacks and gays and nuclear disarmament and we will never be the same."