Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon
For centuries, medical and scientific institutions have wielded enormous power and influence over the physical and emotional safety of queer people. Cured chronicles a group of dedicated activists who went to battle with one of the most formidable gatekeepers to queer health, safety and freedom: the American Psychiatric Association.
Prior to the 1970’s homosexuality had long been diagnosed as a mental illness, and the prescription was often cruelty. Institutionalization, electroshock treatment, conversion therapy, sterilization; many patients were drugged, abused and neglected by doctors. The fight to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was crucial to de-stigmatizing queerness in north american society. Experience the remarkable stories of the steadfast and passionate activists and doctors who never gave up on this crucial pursuit for humane and caring treatment for queer people from the medical establishment. Grassroots organizers and courageous psychiatrists who disrupted APA conferences, went head to head with homophobic doctors and public figures, and faced dangerous personal and professional consequences are recognized on the platform they deserve. This history is sensitively handled by documentary filmmakers Bennett Singer (whose credits include Brother Outsider, the story of gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin) and Patrick Sammon (Codebreaker, a documentary about gay mathematician Alan Turing). With interviews conducted over the course of five years, the stories revealed in this engaging documentary are rich, nuanced and moving. The medicalization of sexuality and gender continues to impact our communities, and this film contains many strategies, lessons and inspiration for the struggles still ahead for us.
Content advisory: Subject matter contains homophobic and transphobic language, and descriptions and images of medical abuse.
Kevin McLellan / USA / 2020 / 7 mins / English
DICK is a homoerotic short that mashes-up public domain sources (three 1940’s educational films starring Dick York, a 1940’s anti-gay propaganda film, and music from different times) in order to survey representations of gayness from different lenses and eras.