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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg now 84, and still inspired by the lawyers who defended free speech during the Red Scare, Ginsburg refuses to relinquish her passionate duty, steadily fighting for equal rights for all citizens under the law. Through intimate interviews and unprecedented access to Ginsburg’s life outside the court, RBG tells the electric story of Ginsburg’s consuming love affairs with both the Constitution and her beloved husband Marty—and of a life’s work that led her to become an icon of justice in the highest court in the land.
|Studio :||Storyville Films, CNN Films,|
|Crew :||Cinematography, Director,|
|Cast :||Ruth Bader Ginsburg Gloria Steinem|
It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
Tells a fascinating and unsettling true story, and does so well, without pretending to have all the answers.
There are moments in this movie where the great movie it could've been peek out... They're fleeting, here, but they're worth savoring, and they happen often enough to make it worth your while.
Co-directed by Julie Cohen ("American Veteran") and Betsy West, RBG is a celebration of the life and career of 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as the "Notorious R.B.G," a reference to the famous rock star "The Notorious B.I.G., and the title of a book about her by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. The documentary is a tribute to the accomplishments of the diminutive and pixieish woman whose legal career has promoted the cause of gender equality, abortion rights for women, laws governing search and seizure, and other social issues. The film does not pretend, however, to offer a balanced, objective perspective of Ginsburg's strengths and weaknesses as a jurist or examine any valid disagreements with her legal opinions. The only negative discussed is (what some consider to be) her inappropriate comments about a 2016 Presidential candidate. The film opens with some carefully selected name-calling from unseen accusers who call her a variety of pejorative words such as "vile," "wicked," "zombie," and "witch," words you would normally only see strung together in a presidential tweet. Interviewed are former President Bill Clinton, Playwright Arthur R. Miller, Finist icon Gloria Stein, and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, as well Ginsburg's children: Jane, a professor at Columbia Law School, James Steven, a music producer, and granddaughter Clara Spera, a graduate of Harvard Law School who refers to her grandmother as "Bubbie," an endearing Jewish term. The film highlights major aspects of Ginsburg's life including her confirmation hearing in 1993, her 56-year-marriage to the late New York tax attorney, Martin D. Ginsburg, her two-time battle with cancer, and her struggle for acceptance as a woman at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, and her frustration in seeking to find employment as a law clerk after graduation. Though the film has a serious purpose, views of Ginsburg doing push-ups at the gym, attending the opera, talking to high school students wearing Ginsburg T-shirts, and watching a spoof of her by comedian Kate McKinnon on "Saturday Night Live," provide a lighter side to her personality, one that we rarely see. She even jokes with the late arch-conservative jurist Anthony Scalia, and makes a humorous comment about her falling asleep at the State of the Union address. After her tenure as a law professor (one of only twenty female law professors in the country) at Rutgers University, Ginsburg became active in the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, and the most compelling part of the film is the discussion of some of the landmark court cases she was involved with. In her capacity as general counsel for the Project, she argued and won five of six cases before the United States Supreme Court. When she argued her first case, she said, "I knew that I was speaking to men who didn't think there was any such thing as gender-based discrimination, and my job was to tell them it really exists." The cases include Frontiero v. Richardson (1973) which challenged a statute denying a married female Air Force lieutenant the right to receive the same housing allowance as a married man. In Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld (1975), she represented a widower denied survivor benefits under Social Security, opposing the statute that allowed widows but not widowers to collect special benefits while caring for minor children. In one of her arguments, she quoted Sarah Grimké, 19th century abolitionist and attorney, who wrote in an 1837 letter, "I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks." After being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, her opinion was a determining factor in allowing women to attend the Virginia Military Institute for the first time. She also authored the majority opinions in United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. Though she considered herself to be cautious in her approach to the law, when the court made a sharp right turn, her dissenting opinions presented a counter argument to the majority. Among others, her voice was heard in Bush v. Gore (2000) which decided the 2000 Presidential election, and in Shelby County v. Holder (2013), a decision that found Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be unconstitutional. It is clear from RBG that Ginsburg's appeal has gone far beyond her legal opinions and that she has now become an icon to millions of people throughout the world. Emma Goldman once famously noted that she did not want any part of any revolution that did not let her dance. Ruth Bader Ginsburg's lifetime of support for human rights has allowed many to dance, some for the first time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a marvel. She has improved rights for women and worked for gender equality. On the Supreme Court she has disagreed with legislation that has whittled the power of the Voting Rights Act.Why is the U.S. Supreme Court dominated, except for Ruth Bader, by all these old men and conservative to boot. During the Roosevelt era the Supreme Court stopped a lot of progressive legislation.Anyway for now Ruth is there and there is hope. Who will Trump appoint? Another old desecrated right-winger no doubt.
This is a wonderful story about about a splendid American. It gives meaning to the phrase "A nation of laws". For those who do not know much about Ruth Bader Ginsberg, she has contributed much to our system. Take 2 hours to enjoy learning why documentary films provide so much that we need to know about contemporary America. This a gem. Don't miss it.
"RBG" (2018 release; 95 min.) is a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As the movie opens, we see Ginsburg working out with her personal trainer. "I am 84 and everyone wants to take their picture with me", she comments. We then shift to her 1993 Supreme Court Senate confirmation hearings, where she opens with talking of her Brooklyn roots and upbringing, at which point the movie goes back to the 1930s. At this point we are less than 10 min, into the movie, and you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from documentarians Julie COhen and Betsy West. Here they give us an "all access" portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a/k/a "Notorious RBG". As I am a lawyer myself, I am of course quite aware of her, but I must admit I knew very little of her background, and how it made the person that she is today. Just 2 things that stuck with me after the movie: Ginsberg is best known as the champion of gender equality. Did you know that she was one of only 9 female students (out of a class of about 500) at Harvard Law? and that she made law review? And that upon graduating (in 1959), not a single law firm in New York, NOT ONE, offered her a job? The other striking thing is the amazing relationship between Ruth (nicknamed "Kiki" by her childhood friends) and her husband Martin, which is featured prominently in the documentary. Oh, and there is one more thing to remember: the deep friendship between (liberal) RGB and (conservative) Supreme Court justice Antonia Scalia. In these uncertain times, it is important to remember that we don't have to be indignant, disrespectful and worse to people who have a different opinion than our own. In fact, strictly on policy issues, I probably disagree with RBG more than I agree, but that doesn't mean I can't have but the greatest respect for Ginsberg the person. What an icon she is, and the day that she retires from the Supreme Court will be a sad day for this country."RBG" premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival to immediate acclaim. The movie opened this weekend on 2 screens at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The early Saturday evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, and I thin that with the positive word-of-mouth this movie is sure to generate that this may have long legs at the art-house theater circuit, IF you are in the mood for an excellent documentary about a remarkable women, I'd readily suggest you check out "RBG", be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.