MINNESOTA MEAN – A Review by Jenn Rohm

MINNESOTA MEAN – A Review by Jenn Rohm

Roller Derby is one of those sports I have known about since childhood.  I can remember mixed-gender bouts being shown on TV.  Although I didn’t understand what was happening, I did enjoy the music, lights, and theatrics.  In 2009, Whip It came out with the story of a girl trying to find her place, and she discovered women’s banked track roller derby.  This allowed her to find some truths about herself.

Director Dawn Mikkelson, inspired by her close friend’s journey in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and the Minnesota RollerGirls, brings a unique spotlight to the 2017 season for the Minnesota All-Stars (aka Minnesota Mean).  This documentary not only provides insights into the rules and players’ positions but also delves into the personal stories of the players, their journey in Roller Derby, their life off the track, and the profound meaning of Derby in their lives.

Over the course of a year, the film takes us on a journey, alternating between intimate sit-down interviews with the players and their support people, thrilling footage from bouts and practices, heartwarming moments of life off the track, and entertaining travel experiences.  This pacing not only allows us to truly understand the players’ stories, but we also feel the energy of the bouts and the team bond they have for each other, fostering a deep emotional connection with the audience.

By the end of the piece, I wanted to join these women and be part of their friendship circle.  These women are changing the world in big and small ways.  Check your subscription service or purchase the DVD then sit back at home, watch, and enjoy. 


Director: Dawn Mikkelson

Cast: Minnesota Mean 2017 roster – Shiver Me Kimbers, Brickyard, Smoka Hontas, Hurtrude Stein, Diamond Rough, Switch Please

Genres: Documentary

Selig Rating: 4 stars

Runtime: 1h 21m

Release Date: VOD and DVD July 2, 2024

Trailer: Minnesota Mean Trailer

Website: Minnesota Mean website


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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