Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority
US | 2008 | 56 minutes | Color/BW | DVD | Order No. 09975
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“This film is not just about Patsy—the pioneer, the activist, the visionary—but a story for all who believe in equality and justice.”
“A truly courageous woman…. who didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and made a difference for all of us.”
SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
- Hawaii International Film Festival, Audience Award: Favorite Documentary
- San Joaquin International Film Festival, Spirit of Humanity Award
- 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
- Gate City Women’s Film Festival, Blue Magnolia Award: Best in Festival
- Zora Neale Hurston Award: Best Documentary Film
- Bennett Spirit Award: Most Positive Portrayal of a Woman
- CINE Golden Eagle Award, Documentary Short, Independent Division
- Festival International de Films de Femmes, Creteil, France
- Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
- San Diego Asian Film Festival
- Pacific Rim Film Festival
- Austin Asian Film Festival
- 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
Director/producer/writer Kimberlee Bassford is an independent documentary filmmaker from Hawai'i with a background in journalism. She produced and directed the documentaries WINNING GIRL (2014, World Channel), PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY (2008, PBS) and CHEERLEADER (2003, HBO Family) and was a producer on two national PBS documentary series: UNNATURAL CAUSES: IS INEQUALITY MAKING US SICK? (2008) and THE MEANING OF FOOD (2005). She has garnered numerous honors for her work, including film festival audience awards and grand jury prizes, a duPont-Columbia Award, Student Academy Award, CINE Golden Eagles, and has been featured on panels and juries for ITVS, Center for Asian American Media, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Hawai'i International Film Festival and the Ohina Short Film Showcase. Kimberlee holds a BA in psychology from Harvard University and a Masters of Journalism from the University of California Berkeley. She owns Making Waves Films LLC, a documentary production company in Honolulu, and is an instructor of journalism at Windward Community College where she also advises the school's nationally award-winning student newspaper.