Out on DVD now is Are You Proud, a film about the history of Pride – here’s our review.

With flags of all colours draped over shoulders, faces adorned with rainbow paint and glitter, Pride is a beautiful celebration of identity. Are You Proud? is a reminder that although progress has been made, Pride began as a protest march and there remains a wealth of work to be done.

Ashley Joiner’s film powerfully chronicles, reflects and honours those who fight for the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals. The film finds a grounding in sit-down interviews that guide this documentary’s narrative, relying on individual perspectives to build a detailed portrait of the history of Pride. Are You Proud? does not lack ambition; the film covers a lot of ground with the topics it discusses. This includes the commercialisation of Pride itself, inclusivity and intersectionality within the community. By elevating the voices featured, the documentary brings a united discussion to the forefront.

However, hostility towards Pride is not a memory; Are You Proud? respectfully features vigils and remembrances that honour the lives of those who have passed. The direct approach to handling this coverage offers meditative moments of sincere, emotional reflection. With hate crimes remaining prevalent in the UK, the educational possibilities held by Are You Proud? are essential for acceptance. With the cultivation of archived footage, politicised beliefs are inevitable in the conversation of the morals and ethics of Pride. Yet the film strikes a careful balance of including discussion without wading into argumentative, unproductive debate. Heartfelt moments allow interviewees contemplation as they express the repression of their identity: “we had been condemned to the twilight and the night. From 1970 onwards, we reclaimed the daylight.”

Genuine reflection on the importance of visibility in a diverse range of spaces features footage from Black Pride and Trans Pride – events that do not receive the same attention. Ashley Joiner’s film is essential viewing, providing the next generation with a foundation of knowledge about the LGBTQI+ community and its history. Her unwavering focus on this topic offers an inclusive space, elevating voices that are so often silenced. Are You Proud? offers a timeless documentation regarding the history of Pride and LGBTQI+ activists. Concluding with a message of love and pride, Joiner’s film shows that hope for tomorrow remains strong.

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