Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority

picture-13.pngBeware: The new documentary “Patsy Pink: Ahead of the Majority” will make you fall in love with a dead congressperson. It’s Kimberlee Bassford’s profile of Maui’s Patsy Takemoto Mink—multi-time Hawaiian representative and first woman of color to be elected to the House. Mink was an ardent progressive who was responsible for Title IX—the law that suggests women’s sports are as important as men. The daughter of a second-generation Hawaiian, Mink defied the gender barrier and island party hacks alike to join in on LBJ’s Great Society. She almost originated Congressional dissent against the Vietnam war, ran in the Oregon primary as an anti-war candidate and lasted long enough to fight a passionate losing battle against Gingrich’s “Contract With America. “Tiny but hard-charging, Mink spanned the age where Look magazine referred to her as “Prettiest Congressman” to the age of Pelosi holding the gavel. (Prettiness didn’t hurt; anyone looks regal with those stolelike leis only Hawiian politicians get, the ones that are as thick as an anaconda.) Though made for Hawaiian PBS, this documentary is unusually salty and proudly leftist. Mink’s inspiring and embattled career—and her personal charm—is well remembered here. The next fouryears will tell whether or not Mink is the most intrepid politician Hawaii ever produced.The film shows March 21 at 12:45pm at Camera 12 in San Jose as part of this year’s Asian American Film Festival.

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