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OPENS OCTOBER 20

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Some of Maya Lin’s story is powerful and poignant, and most of that part—as you might imagine—involves the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. While still a design student at Yale, Lin won a nationwide competition for what has come to be called The Wall, and her design (and, in less savory quarters, her Chinese ancestry) set off an ideological firestorm. Time has proved Lin right, of course, while some of the people who were conspicuously wrong (including Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot) have gone on to be conspicuously wrong about other things. Lin also designed a Civil Rights Memorial that—based on this footage—seems equally powerful. Her more personal work, however, is less interesting, and the sections of Freida Lee Mock’s Oscar-winning documentary that discuss it will divert only hardcore devotees of public (and in one case altogether too private) architecture. Perhaps Mock thought it would be too obvious, but the film would be more compelling if it concentrated on the Lin work that drew the most overt response—both positive and negative. At the Key Theater, 1222 Wisconsin Ave. NW. (202) 333-5100. (Mark Jenkins)