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In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association designated homosexuality as a "mental illness" in the diagnostic manual of mental disorders. Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon’s enthralling documentary recounts the efforts of the courageous lesbian and gay activists and allies who paved the way for a different line of thinking (the designation was removed in 1973). Cured begins by providing historical context for the prejudices and pseudoscientific assumptions underlying the "homosexual cure" that psychiatrists practiced so commonly at the time.

Supplemented by newly recovered archival footage, this fascinating collection of interviews traces the turning points in this important chapter of the history of LGBTQ activism and psychiatry, from the picketing efforts led by Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny in 1965, to the 1972 conference where Jon Fryer (known at the time as Dr. H. Anonymous) was the first to speak publicly to the American Psychiatric Association of his experiences as a gay therapist. Cured provides riveting accounts of how a small group of passionate activists can confront a powerful institution and effectuate positive change.

International premiere
Director Icon Director
Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon
Executive Producer Sally Jo Fifer, Cole Rucker, Jeff Nalin, Andrew Tobias, Mel Heifetz
Producer Patrick Sammon, Bennett Singer
Screenwriter Patrick Sammon, Bennett Singer
Cinematographer Sam Henriques
Editor Steve Heffner
Music Ian Honeyman
Production Company Story Center Films, Singer & Deschamps Productions, ITVS
Source The Film Collaborative
USA 2020 81 min. English Official Website

Tickets

Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

Singer, Bennett headshot

Director – Bennett Singer

Bennett Singer has been making social-issue documentaries for more than 20 years. In 2003 he co-directed Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, which premiered at Sundance, aired on PBS, and won 22 international awards, including Audience Awards at Outfest, Framline, and NewFest. He received a duPont-Columbia Award for his work on Eyes on the Prize II and co-directed Electoral Dysfunction, a “frightening and enlightening” (NPR) documentary about voting in America.

Photo: ©Tezarah Wilkins

Sammon, Patrick headshot

Director – Patrick Sammon

Patrick Sammon has a mix of experience in filmmaking, broadcast journalism, and LGBTQ political advocacy. Based in Washington, DC, he was Creator and Executive Producer of Codebreaker, a “superb” (The Telegraph) drama-documentary that “artfully explored” (The Mail) the life and legacy of gay British codebreaker Alan Turing. Codebreaker attracted three million viewers worldwide.

Photo: ©Tezarah Wilkins

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