Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker

1991 | Activism / Biography/History / Documentary / Health/Medicine / Homophobia / Mental Health / Sexuality / Social Issues / Women's Studies | 75m | USA
Directors: Richard Schmiechen

Academy™ Award-winning director Richard Schmiechen (The Times of Harvey Milk) vividly portrays the life and work of a woman who changed both the medical community, and society in Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker.

During the repressive 1950s, Dr. Evelyn Hooker undertook groundbreaking research that led to a radical discovery: homosexuals were not, by definition, “sick.“ Dr. Hooker’s finding sent shock waves through the psychiatric community and culminated in a major victory for gay rights. In 1974 the weight of her studies, along with gay activism, forced the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its official manual of mental disorders. Startling archival footage of the medical procedure used to “cure” homosexuality, images from the underground gay world of the McCarthy era and home movies of literary icon Christopher Isherwood bring to life history which we must never forget. Dr. Hooker’s insights into marriage equality and the gay community (a term she coined), and the filmmakers’ winning approach make this documentary education at its most exciting and enjoyable.

This Academy Award nominated film is narrated by Patrick Stewart.

Reviews and Awards

Best Documentary, San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Academy Award© nominee “Best Documentary Feature”

“This is a valuable educational film for the general public to understand who gays and lesbians are, the journey they’ve taken and the fact that scientists have said for decades now that they are not ill.” — Los Angeles Times

Changing Our Minds is a remarkable documentary about a remarkable woman…Based on extensive interviews, Evelyn Hooker’s dignity, humanity, and belief in the power of love shine through. This film celebrates the wisdom and courage of those who dare to challenge what they believe to be wrong and recognizes the many individuals who helped make gay and lesbian rights possible. Students and scholars of gay and lesbian history, women’s studies, and psychology will find this a particularly valuable film.” — C. Unger, Associate Professor, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Santa Clara University