Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Inspirational documentary charts the career of one of America’s most celebrated artists. Maya Lin is primarily famous for her design of the Vietnam War Memorial, one of the most powerful works of art to be dedicated to the horrors of war and, from the time of its original inception, one of the most controversial. The film discusses her winning the contest to design the Memorial over thousands of other applicants, then shows footage of hearings where the matter was discussed further thanks to outrage from veterans over the choice of a ‘gook’ to design their war memorial, not to mention their dislike of the stylistic taste involved. You’ll be amazed when you see how strong a ground this then-twenty year old art school student maintains throughout the entire ordeal. This being the most fascinating aspect of the film leaves the rest with somewhat less exciting but still fascinating and enriching material to work with. Following her eventual success with the Vietnam piece, Lin designed the Civil Rights Memorial, a tribute to the Women of Yale and the Museum of African Art in New York City. Her passion for her work has not abated over the years, and her artistry has only become more challenging and powerful for both the creator and the audience. Director Freida Lee Mock has fashioned a memorable tribute to passion and dedication, and Lin is a perfectly appreciable subject.
Academy Award: Best Documentary Feature