Changing Our Minds

Directed by Richard Schmiechen
1991
USA
75 mins

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 that 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.

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