Club Cert; Now showing, IFI
Sometimes on any journey the tendency is to focus on how much ground is left to be covered, but sometimes it’s really good to pause and appreciate how far we have come.
This excellent documentary by Betsy West and Julie Cohen looks at the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the quiet powerhouse who has for more than half a century been at the forefront of the battle for equality.
It sounds dry, but the American Supreme Court justice with the pop icon moniker Notorious RBG is not only a fascinating subject, but a tremendously engaging one.
There’s a particularly lovely moment towards the end where the tiny 84-year old giggles when she is shown the Saturday Night Live version of herself. It is absolutely not accurate, she says, but it is funny.
Because of the cases and causes she has fought during her legal career, RBG is regarded as a liberal rottweiler. But the real woman, while superhumanly driven, is reserved in manner and beliefs; her crusade has not been a political one, so much as a profound belief in fairness and equality.
She graduated from law school in 1957 as one of the top students, even though she not only had a baby at home but a husband who had cancer.
But not a single law firm in New York employed women then, so RBG had to begin breaking the barriers that blocked the way.
She has been instrumental in changing so much of what we now take for granted; this insight into the woman behind the law is utterly charming.