During the British coal miners' yearlong strike against Margaret Thatcher's government in 1984, one Welsh mining town got financial support from a surprising source: a London-based group of gays and lesbians who seemed to share little more than a mutual enmity toward the Iron Lady. Well, that and music. In the film, Dominic West's gay activist leads a rousing disco routine that gets the locals (including Imelda Staunton) on their feet. Director Matthew Warchus, veteran of stage hits like Matilda, grew up in a northern England mining community but admits he wasn't familiar with the true-life story until he read Stephen Beresford's script. ''There was a sense of disbelief and wonder,'' he says. ''How did we not know about it?''