Changing Our Minds: The Story Of Dr. Evelyn Hooker (1992)

RICHARD SCHMIECHEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

USA, 1992.  Screenplay by .  Produced by .  Film Editing by .  

During a time when gays and lesbians were not only termed deviant by social convention but actually criminalized and deemed mentally unfit, Dr. Evelyn Hooker decided to prove otherwise. A behavioural psychologist with a large group of gay friends in her social circle, Hooker could find no evidence of the psychological abnormality that the medical community insisted existed in homosexuals, taking it upon herself to conduct tests with two study groups that supported her theory. In this absorbing documentary by Richard Schmiechen, Hooker herself gives on-camera interviews about her life and work, the research (and personal risks she took with her reputation in her profession) which eventually led to the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental illnesses in 1974. The film uses her testimony, Patrick Stewart’s narration and tons of stock footage to give a portrait of a backwards America wrapped up in an false, mythical image of itself.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature

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