RBG: Hero Icon Dissenter

98+ min. Betsy West & Julie Cohen, dist. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, magpictures.com. 2018. DVD UPC 876964016223. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964016315. $29.98. SDH subtitles. Rated: PG. BIOG
Fans of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) get a chance to go behind the scenes in the life of a modern-day crusader. By day, she toils in the highest court in the land; after long hours, she works out with a personal trainer (executing a side plank!), guest-stars in a nonsinging role in an opera, motivates high schoolers, and leafs through scrapbooks. This reverential film by directors West (Makers: Women Who Make America) and Cohen (American Veteran) intersperses "day in the life" vignettes of RBG with interviews with her childhood classmates, her children, her former colleagues, and some of the plaintiffs whose cases she argued before the Court prior to her 1993 appointment by then president Bill Clinton. The talking heads (NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, for example) shed light on her incredible legacy of gender equality, her stamina, and a bit about her personal life. When the camera is turned on her, Ginsburg is more reticent, but she does say that sometimes she felt like a kindergarten teacher when working among uncomprehending men in the legal system.
VERDICT This film doesn't reveal much that most of RBG's devotees don't already know, but they will appreciate hearing her address the court and seeing archival photos and films from her younger days. Everyone else will catch RBG fever!

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