Are you proud? Offering an answer might be easy for some, but a new film is exploring the tough complications that divide the LGBTQ community – through its history in the United Kingdom.
A Must-See From Across The Pond
Are You Proud? is a new UK documentary from London-based director Ashley Joiner. The thought-provoking film brings together rare archival footage and interviews to show the progress of the LGBTQ community over time.
Although the documentary is based in the UK, the issues it addresses issues that will resonate with people across the globe. Overall, the film brings to life issues of human rights through the framework of Pride in Britain. It first focuses broadly on the history of the movement. Then it transitions into examining each issue individually. Some of these issues include UK Clause 28 (concerning the criminal status of homosexuality), the Aids and HIV crisis, and the Orlando shooting. Further, Are You Proud? relates these events to the varied identities found within the community.
One interviewee asks, “How can you be criminalized for being born the way you are?”. It’s a question that sticks with viewers throughout the documentary. Joiner brilliantly captures aspects of this struggle against sexuality-as-criminality that has been ongoing for over 70 years.
The film includes rare footage from various community actions over time. These include the Stonewall Uprising and countless LGBTQ Pride demonstrations. It also features interviews with activists Lady Phyll (UK Black Pride), Lisa Power (Stonewall, LGBT Switchboard), Matthew Todd (author) and Andrew Lumsden (Gay Liberation Front). Multiple other organization founders and protest leaders also lend their voices.
Looking Back AND Ahead
Pride is so much more just a month of celebrations. The accomplishments of the LGBTQ community since Stonewall 50 years ago – and even further back than that – are significant pieces of a rich, shared culture. Yet the breakthroughs celebrated in the documentary remind viewers how far we have to go. It urges us to see how much has changed and to look to the future of our fundamental rights.
Are You Proud? is now available for viewing on Amazon and Vimeo. Check out the trailer here:
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Last modified: August 10, 2019