“MINK!” is a collaboration between tennis icon Naomi Osaka, who exec produced the film under her Hana Kuma banner, and director Ben Proudfoot. The 20-minute doc chronicles Mink’s “mission to co-author and defend Title IX, the law that transformed athletics for generations in America for girls and women,” per its official synopsis.
Though but a 37 word-long section among the 100-plus pages long Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX — which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions that accept federal funding — became a gamechanger. The film’s release, via The New York Times Op-Docs, is tied to the 50th anniversary of its signing into law, June 23.
A Japanese American from Hawaii, Mink was also notable for being the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
“Ben Proudfoot brilliantly interweaves two origins stories: my mother’s, and the guarantee of equity for athletics under Title IX. This kind of storytelling is so important, both to foreground the contributions of the real people behind movements for justice and to show that even grand principles are touched by lived experience,” said Wendy Mink. “It means the world to me that Naomi Osaka and The New York Times have chosen to lift up my mother’s story.”
Osaka added, “Patsy was the first woman of color in Congress, a Japanese-American woman, and I was immediately inspired by her story. Without Patsy, there is no Naomi Osaka or legions of other female athletes who got a chance because of her work.”
Garrett Bradley directed a 2021 Netflix docuseries about Osaka. Titled “Naomi Osaka,” it followed the superstar during a pivotal year in her preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Other new programming exploring the impact of Title IX includes docuseries “37 Words” (originally titled “Fifty/50”) from director Dawn Porter, now available on ESPN.
Originally published at womenandhollywood.com