PRIDE: Modern Activism and a Film About People

It is very rare for me to justify standing and applauding at the end of a performance unless I do it without thinking about it. If I have to question the standing ovation then it is not needed, simple. Pride at the Toronto International Film Festival was a standing up occasion, so much so that we were covered in tears and smiling and not second guessing the fact that the film we had just seen was not only incredible but…awe inspiring.

The plot followed a small Lesban and Gay group who wanted to support a small Welsh town during the Miner strike in 1984. The humour was natural, genuine, not forced not funny but small and quaint. The emotions were real, three dimensional, not forced. This film was not forced. We were lucky enough to be at the North American premiere and heard the director, the cast, and some of the real people the story was based off of speak at the end. It came up that modern activism was represented in this film not by riots, not by ALS Bucket Challenges, not by a surge of social media following, but by actually physically supporting and being there for one another, and that this is the way of the future to make change.

That touched home for me, in the midst of writing a speech for the Night Steps fundraiser that I am walking for Canadian National Institute for the Blind later this month but also speaking and acting as an ambassador for the organisation. I want to be around people who work towards a common goal, and get excited with them, feel the passion from their voice and the touch of their hands. Modern Activism means awareness through contact, through passion that is directed through in-real-life contact, in-real-life IMPACT, those are the things that make a difference.

PRIDE brought people together, brought an audience to joyeous, loud laughter and tears through smiles. Everything about this experience moved me, and in a way prompted me to challenge myself to DO. To BE with people, to MEET new people, and to TRY. What do I have to be ashamed of? Be proud of the things that you believe in, don’t hide the, don’t hide yourself, and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I am only seeing one film at TIFF this year and I am incredibly thrilled that it was PRIDE, which brought me to my feet to applaud not the acting, not the depiction, not the story, but the commitment to respect and the message of support and passion.

See this film. It is coming to the Princess Cinemas in Waterloo, I will be going again (this October) and make an effort to support people today, be there for them, and put down your cellphone and visit people more. There is nothing like seeing someone in the flesh and affecting change in each other.

Xx Jess


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