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Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority
A film by Kimberlee Bassford
US, 2008, 56 minutes, Color/BW, DVD
Order No. W09975
In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the US presidency and was the driving force behind Title IX, the landmark legislation that transformed women’s opportunities in higher education and athletics.

Mink was an Asian American woman who fought racism and sexism while redefining US politics. Her tumultuous, often lonely political journey reveals what can be at stake for female politicians that defy expectations, push limits and adhere to their principles. Mink encountered sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. And her liberal views, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism.

A compelling portrait of an iconoclastic figure that remains seldom spotlighted in history books, this film illuminates how Mink’s daring to remain “ahead of the majority” in her beliefs enabled groundbreaking changes for the rights of the disenfranchised. A woman of the people as well as a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, Patsy Mink’s intriguing story embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.


Hawaii International Film Festival, Audience Award: Favorite Documentary
Honolulu International Film Festival, Best Documentary, Gold Kahuna Award, Best Hawaiian Film
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Comcast Audience Award: Best Documentary Feature
International Women’s Day Film Festival, Finalist: Cross Culture Ambassador Award
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize: Best Feature
Zora Neale Hurston Award: Best Documentary Film
Bennett Spirit Award: Most Positive Portrayal of a Woman
CINE Golden Eagle Award, Documentary Short, Independent Division
San Joaquin International Film Festival, Spirit of Humanity Award
Gate City Women’s Film Festival, Blue Magnolia Award: Best in Festival

  • Pacific Rim Film Festival
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • Austin Asian Film Festival
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival
  • Festival International de Films de Femmes, Creteil, France
  • International Women's Day Film Festival
  • Reel Women International Film Festival
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) National Convention American Association of University Women (AAUW) National Convention

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    “An outstanding film that documents an amazing life. Mink was a trailblazer known today for her incredible commitment to the ideals of democracy. This film is ideal for courses on Women & Politics and Racial & Ethnic Politics.”
    Stefanie Chambers
    Assoc. Professor of Political Science, Trinity College

    “Moving and inspirational...It does a terrific job of bringing to light a time in US social and political history which feels both distant and all-too-familiar.”
    Martha Ackelsberg
    Dept. of Government & Program for the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College

    “This film is not just about Patsy—the pioneer, the activist, the visionary—but a story for all who believe in equality and justice.”
    Shirley (Kodani) Cavanaugh, APR
    Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired)

    “A truly courageous woman…. who didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and made a difference for all of us.”
    Erica Johnson
    American Association of University Women

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    Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us