MINK! is an open and informative documentary that is well worth 20 minutes of your day. We need more documentaries about people like Patsy Takemoto Mink for it shows the good that there is and that progress never stops. You can watch it below in the link provided at the bottom of this review.
Director: Ben Proudfoot
MINK! tells the story of Patsy Takemoto Mink, a Hawaii Democrat who became the first woman of colour elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she co-authored the ground-breaking Title IX legislation that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that received federal funding.
Wendy Mink, our guide to her mother’s life and legacy could easily be a double-edged sword for audiences as some view her narration of her mother’s life as being too personal and too skewed. Or to be balanced just enough but to give us that personal edge to connect better. Luckily for us, Proudfoot does the latter as he knows how to get the most out of those he records, and with Wendy, we have a terrific guide. She benefits us by being a person who was there, spoke to her mother and experienced the public and private life struggles. It could benefit the film because she was close to the subject. By having someone there who saw what the subject went through, struggled with in her private life, we get the fullest possible picture of a woman who, for a lot of people, will not have heard of before.
What helps MINK! is that it goes through that battle for Title IX, and although it is a brief glimpse at the struggle that occurred to get it to where it did, it is enough to entice the audience to go off and learn more about it after the documentary has finished. Also, the fact that it shows our politicians as humans. Be it with Mink talking to her daughter about how slow change will be, but that there will be change. Or the fact that after Wendy’s accident, so many colleagues from both sides tried to reach out. Showing that, for some, politics can be pushed aside is important when we consider how brutal both sides have been with each other as of late.
MINK! could go further with its narrative, more about her challenges in her young days, into more detail about Title IX and even the journey she had afterwards. Patsy Takemoto Mink was as fascinating a woman as she was important. Ben Proudfoot has given us a great 20-minute snapshot into her life, one for us to go and explore at length ourselves. Yet, you feel that people like Congresswoman Mink should already have in-depth pieces about them out there.
While we have some documentaries about politicians that were less than honest in their dealings, maybe we should revert to documenting some that did good. That wanted to change for the better and pushed to make sure it happened. Perhaps this is the start at highlighting such people; goodness knows we need something more positive to soak in when thinking about politics at the minute.
For more of our reviews of the festival, please check out below:
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