Ruth lost her mother, Celia Ginsberg, at age seventeen. However, she never stopped following her mother’s advice: “Always be a lady and always be independent.” 68 years later, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is still fighting for sex equality. Those words carried Ruth through Harvard Law, where she met her husband Mitch. Mitch is characterized as a loud, gregarious type; the complete counter to Ruth’s stoic, no-small-talk presence.
Throughout Ruth’s career, Mitch was right there behind her, moving to D.C., advocating for her Supreme Court nomination, and happily playing second fiddle. Mitch was Ruth’s antagonist for over 50 years, pushing her to the spotlight and providing opportunities for Ruth to find an opportunity to settle her incredible work-life balance.
The very likable villain, was RBG’s was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — a conservative Catholic who diametrically opposed Ruth’s views of the law. However, the two formed an “unlikely” friendship across the aisle, showing that even at the highest levels of politics, civility and friendship can overcome party lines.
Ruth and women experience a similar Arc of Transformation. At first Ruth was surprised to find sex discriminatory roadblocks in her career, and in the 60s and 70s there was an awakening. She began tactically taking on cases to create a conscience for sex equality and discrimination — opposing white, male judges, all the way up to the supreme court.
The sequence which moved me the most was the montage of photos with highlighted background text. Just as Ruth was able to make judges and juries feel the injustices against women in her cases, the film RBG puts the audience in a similar position — how can you not cry.
Not my favorite documentary style, but RBG is a tactful and moving portrait of an independent, American woman.