The compelling history of legal legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg is illuminated in this magnetic documentary feature.
The second woman ever confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, she remains a progressive icon. A firebrand for women’s rights, she has been immortalised in pop culture by devotees often a quarter of her age. And at 85-years old, she shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
Using Ginsburg’s senate confirmation hearing as a central structure, directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen intersperse present-day interviews and current events with Ginsburg’s statements during the 1993 meeting. Each question and response from the hearing serve as the start of a new filmic chapter, using interviews and archival footage to explore Ginsburg’s background, family life or personal stance on myriad issues.
What results is a celebration of Ginsburg's unsinkable spirit, a portrait of an octogenarian whose family still reminds her almost nightly to put the work to one side and focus instead on the little things like eating and sleeping. Righteous, reasonable and resolved, both figure and film offer up much inspiration, whilst quietly questioning whether a new generation of activists can grow into the same confidence. (Research Chris Coetsee)