Julie Cohen & Betsy West – RBG (2018)
RBG is a 2018 American documentary film directed and produced by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, focusing on the life and career of United States Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the film was released in the United States on May 4, 2018.
A look at the career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which has spanned many decades, and how she developed a legal legacy while becoming prominent within pop culture. The film is a biographical depiction of the Supreme Court Justice from her birth in Brooklyn, New York through her rise to the Supreme Court, up to the year of the film’s distribution in 2018.
Ruth Bader was born in Brooklyn into a first generation American Jewish family. As a student she excelled in school and went to Cornell University where she met her future life-long husband. Both would go on to become attorneys with her specializing in the representation of sexual equality cases, while he went on to become a leading tax attorney working in New York. Ruth Bader represented cases for both sexes experiencing inequality within culture and society regarding issues of sexual equality. She represented cases involving discrimination against women in the armed services who were denied equal treatment in the armed forces, and she successfully defended single parent male clients who were denied access to social security benefits normally allowed to single mothers (gender preference) but denied to male applicants. She represented several cases at the Supreme Court as an attorney representing clients well before she herself became a member of the Supreme Court.
Her ascent within the field of becoming a judge in American jurisprudence began with the Carter administration, and Jimmy Carter successfully nominated her for the appellate court. Next, Bill Clinton successfully nominated her to the Supreme Court when Mario Cuomo indicated he had no interest in accepting such a nomination. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (taking her husband’s family name) was appointed with nearly the full affirmation of the Senate. The film makes much of her ascendant prominence in popular culture by repeatedly referring to her nickname in the popular press calling her ‘Notorious RBG’, as a playful pun on the name of pop rapper known as The Notorious B.I.G. Her own response to this nickname is usually with humour citing that the two of them have much in common since they were both born in Brooklyn.
In 2010 her husband died from prostate cancer after years of suffering. Her granddaughter, who appears in interviews throughout the film, is now a graduate of Harvard Law School, and refers to her grandmother, RBG, as ‘bubbeh’, the familiar Jewish appellation for a loved grandmother. Her granddaughter recollects the very different humour which she saw in her two grandparents when they were together, with ‘bubbeh’ being stoical in her sense of humour, while her grandfather was more overt in using humour to dispel tension and increase positive feeling within the family. In a rare interview that is shown in this documentary, a reporter asked Ruth Bader’s husband what it was like to be the husband of such a prominent Justice of the Supreme Court, whereupon he answered, commenting on his wife as not being the best of cooks, that she has learned over the years not to give him advice on cooking when he is preparing food in the kitchen and that he has learned not to give her advice on matters of the interpretation of the law.
When asked how long she plans to stay on the Supreme Court, RBG responded that she would only stay on the Supreme Court so long as she was able to address the cases placed before her with the full ability and full integrity of her lifetime of experience in practicing the law, and that she would not continue if that was no longer in her ability to accomplish.
2.06GB | 1h 38min | 1280×720 | mkv