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Daniel Day Lewis and Gordon Warnecke in The Beautiful Laundrette, 1985

Daniel Day Lewis and Gordon Warnecke in My Beautiful Laundrette, 1985

My Beautiful Laundrette screens at The Pigs Palace

Following last month’s screening of Querelle, the Pigs Palace will be showing the 1985 comedy-drama My Beautiful Laundrette on Thursday 18 April. All proceeds will go to local charity Seaview. HOT’s Jordan Dixon writes.

Starring three times Academy Award winner Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and BAFTA nominated Gordon Warnecke, in perhaps his most noted role, Stephen Frears’ film tells the story of forbidden love between an interracial homosexual couple and the resulting backlash from their respective communities.

Set to the backdrop of mid-1980’s south London, the film depicts British Pakistani Omar (Warnecke) attempting to turn the profits of a run-down launderette, while also caring for his alcoholic and disaffected father. He is soon reunited with childhood friend Johnny (Day-Lewis), and in spite of his past childhood association with members of the National Front, which they mutually regret, the two embark on a discouraged romance.

The film garnered a degree of backlash amongst Pakistanis, with the Pakistani Action Group most notably leading a demonstration in New York, and in spite of director Frears’ initial reservations about the film’s appeal – “who in their right mind was going to go to cinema to see a film about a gay Pakistani running a laundrette?”, (Frears in The Guardian, 2o15) – it was distributed internationally after a great reception at the Edinburgh Festival and nominated for Best Screenplay at the 1987 Academy Awards.

The screening is thanks to organiser and local resident Stephen Brogan. When asked about this particular selection, he noted that it is a film which holds an important place among a genre of films, such as Letter to Breshnev and Personal Services, which depict working-class life in Britain and specifically through the eyes of minority cultures.

“These gritty, compelling films work so well because they blend humour, pathos and realism,” Stephen told HOT. “They foreground women and ethnic minorities, and from the 1980s onwards, gay men too.

“Today the mainstream media demonises working-class people as chavs and scroungers, while at the same time promoting all sorts of abhorrent racism. So with My Beautiful Launderette you can sit back and enjoy the ride, it’s great entertainment,” he remarked. “But it also speaks to us today about the dangers and horrors of racism and homophobia.”

My Beautiful Laundrette will be screening Thursday 18 April, 7pm, in the function room of The Pigs Palace, 37 White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JL.

No need for advance booking, £5 on the night. All proceeds go to Seaview.

To keep up-to-date with any changes, you can visit Facebook or to learn more about Stephen’s motivations behind the screenings and find out which other films are scheduled, you can check out my interview with Stephen here.


Posted 19:03 Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 In: Film

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