‘Rise of the Wahine’ is a must watch


Rise of the Wahine, directed by Dean Kaneshiro, retells the powerful story of the women who fought for Title IX in Hawaii.

Rise of the Wahine, directed by Dean Kaneshiro, retells the powerful story of the women who fought for Title IX in Hawaii.

The Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team is always able to draw a crowd of excited fans to their volleyball games. However, this group of athletes did not always have this community support. The film Rise of the Wahine: Championships of Title IX highlights one of the biggest women’s rights movements in Hawaii as it retells the story of how women fought for their ability to play sports.

Political movements are not an unusual occurrence in society and have been happening for years. Title IX was passed in 1972 and stated “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This law opened the doors for women to participate in more activities in school, which included athletic programs. This caused lots of controversy, and many showed resistance to the thought of female athletes. Funding was limited, resources and facilities were poor, and treatment in general was unfair.

With the help of Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American congresswoman in America, and Dr. Donnis Thompson, the Wahine’s coach, they helped the rag-tag group of volleyball players earn the spotlight they deserve.

This documentary brilliantly retold the history of Title IX. Not only does this film teach the audience a history lesson; the story was powerful and had the potential to inspire anybody of all genders and ages. The various shots, heartfelt interviews, and old photos from this time period all added to the story and made the audience feel as if they were part of this moment in history. This connection with the story made it more emotional for the audience as they experienced the adversity these women had to deal with.

The timeline was organized and very clear, and the information given was relevant and important to the story. This kept the audience from being confused and interested in the film. The interviews from various women involved in this story added another level of emotion to this film since the viewer could see how much Title IX meant to them.

I rate Rise of the Wahine: Champions of Title IX five stars. This film tells the story of the Rainbow Wahine beautifully, allowing the audience to understand the importance of Title IX. I believe anybody could be motivated by this documentary, however I think it is especially important for student athletes to watch. Many of us may take it for granted that we have all these rights now, and fail to recognize the hard work it took to gain the respect we have now. This film honors the women that fought for Title IX, and shows that we all have the power to make great changes in this world no matter what challenges we face.