Po­etic jus­tice

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - NEWS - KATE TAY­LOR

RBG CLAS­SI­FI­CA­TION: PG; 98 MIN­UTES

Writ­ten and di­rected by Julie Cohen and Betsy West

While Ruth Bader Gins­burg was ac­ing Har­vard Law School, she was also help­ing her hus­band study as he un­der­went ra­di­a­tion treat­ment, and look­ing af­ter the cou­ple’s baby daugh­ter. In RBG, a li­on­iz­ing biog­ra­phy of the U.S. Supreme Court judge, Gins­burg emerges as a woman of re­mark­able in­tel­li­gence and for­ti­tude – who can get by on very lit­tle sleep.

Gins­burg made her rep­u­ta­tion ar­gu­ing the trail-blaz­ing women’s-rights cases of the 1970s, a cause she joined in part be­cause she couldn’t find work in the Wall Street firms that wel­comed her male class­mates. She was ap­pointed to the fed­eral bench in 1980 and ul­ti­mately to pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s Supreme Court: Film­mak­ers Julie Cohen and Betsy West ex­plain how, as the court has moved right, Gins­burg the great con­sen­sus-builder has been forced to be­come the lone lib­eral dis­senter.

They don’t, how­ever, crit­i­cize the late-life so­cial-me­dia fame this has brought her, although the im­pact of her celebrity is some­times ques­tion­able: Dur­ing the 2016 elec­tion, she de­parted so far from ju­di­cial tact as to crit­i­cize Don­ald Trump, a state­ment for which she was later forced to apol­o­gize. They in­clude a clip where an in­ter­viewer asks the re­ally tough ques­tion: Should the 85-year-old jus­tice have re­signed dur­ing the Barack Obama years to al­low the ap­point­ment of an­other lib­eral? Gins­burg makes it clear she isn’t leav­ing any time soon.

In RBG, film­mak­ers Julie Cohen and Betsy West ex­plain how, as the court has moved right, Ruth Bader Gins­burg the great con­sen­sus-builder has been forced to be­come the lone lib­eral dis­senter.

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