This Week: Homosexuals (1964) - extract

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BFI
Published at : 27 Dec 2020
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Extract from Homosexuals (1964). Watch the complete programme on BFI Player (UK only): http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-homosexuals-1964/
Explore LGBT Britain: http://player.bfi.org.uk/collections/lgbt-britain/

This episode of acclaimed current affairs series This Week was the first British nonfiction programme about homosexuality, following reports on other ‘taboo’ subjects, such as abortion, suicide and drug addiction. This edition focuses on the problems encountered by gay men in British society, making comparisons with Holland, where homosexuality was not illegal and gay men could live freely without fear of arrest and imprisonment.

Bryan Magee, the presenter of This Week, interviewed over 200 gay men, getting in contact with many through the Albany Trust, before he chose several to take part in the programme. The gay men were brave in facing the camera, although they remain anonymous, enabling them to talk frankly and honestly about their experiences and sexual matters. Many of the interviews found their way into Magee’s book One in Twenty (1966). It was translated into eight languages and continued to sell well into the 1970s. This ground-breaking programme undoubtedly contributed to the campaign to change the law and decriminalise homosexuality, which finally happened in 1967.


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