Project Kal Recommends:
Ruth Bather Ginsburg aka Notorious RBG is an intellectual giant and a quiet warrior for social justice and women’s rights. Her ascent to the US Supreme Court was not a smooth ride, made so much more difficult by the fact she is a woman, a mother and Jewish. From being discriminated against at Harvard Law School to not being able to get a job practicing law, this diminutive soft-spoken judge has a story that really proves truth is often stranger than fiction.
RBG is now a cultural icon gracing t-shirts, mugs and stickers, but her journey has been largely unknown. This documentary by Julie Cohen and Betsy West does a great job in removing the curtain and offering a glimpse into the private life of a fierce feminist and liberal judge responsible for many landmark rulings around equality in the US. Her tender love story with her husband Martin Ginsburg shows how important it was, and still is, for women to have a partner who believes in them. Is RBG also the ultimate proof that women can have it all? In the documentary, she shares some sweet moments with her granddaughter and her children talk about what it was like growing up with RBG as their mother. Fiercely dedicated to her work, it was not uncommon for her to go hours without remembering to eat or not coming home. Even her choice of collars she wears over the judges’ gown is a feminist statement: a garment made for men, adapted to fit a woman.
This is a documentary to watch when you need to remind yourself how far we have come, but also how far we still have to go. It inspires and motivates to go out and change the world. I do wish they had dived deeper into the issues RBG has faced and overcame, rather than just giving a broad overview. This is a feel-good story and a great watch, but is not a deep dive into structural inequalities and discrimination faced not only by Bather Ginsburg, but also by whole generations of professional women. It is an important reminder why feminism is needed for both women and men and a great watch when you are in a mood for a documentary.