7 Days: Love Is Love : Lesbians (1966) Australian documentary

Note: the sound kicks in after 40 seconds. 7 Days: Love Is Love : Lesbians is a groundbreaking Australian documentary on lesbians presented by Anne Deveson (writer, filmmaker and social commentator), first broadcast in February 1966. Amongst those interviewed are Dawn O’Donnell (off camera at the beginning of the documentary) and psychiatrist Dr Neil McConaghy (the Australian ‘expert’ in aversion therapy). Some women are interviewed in shadow or close-up to disguise their identity. Women speak about being discriminated when applying for jobs against because of their sexuality. Dr Neil McConarghy is interviewed about his “shock therapy work” to change sexual orientation. Surprisingly Dr McConarghy says that homosexuality might be of benefit to society as creative traights or traights of non-conformity might give society as a whole the ability to survive. There’s even a review of the documentary online from the Sydney Morning Herald, published on 20 February 1966. This precious document is both touching, informative and frightening. A link can certainly be made with the actual gay conversion camps.

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