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374. Are You Proud?; movie review

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Title : 374. Are You Proud?; movie review
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Cert 15
100 mins
BBFC advice: Contains infrequent very strong language, brief strong sex references

Sometimes I think British society has come a long way in accepting the difference between people and their stories such as this week's about two young women being badly beaten on a bus in a homophobic attack set me back.
Within a few hours, I had read that Are You Proud?'s director, Ashley Joiner, had suffered similar trauma and it seems as if we are back at square one.
I like to think we all want utopia - a land where we celebrate each other's individuality but, to achieve that, we must recognise the conditioning which many undergo in their formative years.
Joiner's documentary goes back to the early days of the fight for equality and combines rare archive footage with interviews from leading campaigners.
They all have stories of outrageous discrimination but juxtapose them tales of different types of determined action and, in some cases, success.
The film chronicles the gay liberation story through the first change in the law in the late 1960s to the present day.
It celebrates the LBGT community's greatest achievement and asks tough questions about the future.
And it takes a critical eye to the members of the community, examining its own prejudices against its various strands.
I must admit I was more taken with the earlier stages of the film because of the depth of the contributors who then go on to talk about the devastating effects of the HIV/Aids outbreak in the 1980s.
Theirs appears to have been a more broad-brush fight for acceptance and they are able to articulate the importance of milestones such as Stonewall and Pride with greater insight.
The film then veers towards a more arty style of presentation when it examines modern campaigns and, consequently, loses its edge.
Nevertheless, movies such as this are vital in highlighting the prejudice which continues to pervade our society.

Reasons to watch: Important history of a vital social movement
Reasons to avoid: Occasionally wanders away from the big picture

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 7/10

Did you know? In a government survey of 100,000 LBGT people in 2017, respondents were less satisfied with their life nowadays than the general population, scoring it an average 6.5 out of 10, compared with 7.7 for the general UK population.

Final word. Ashley Joiner: "Exploring our history has helped me to understand why I grew up as an isolated young gay man filled with shame and fear. I knew I had to make this film in the effort to prevent anyone else feeling that way." Film Freeway

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