Tuesday, May 29, 2018

RBG (2018)

There are certain mistakes that, in retrospect, seem obvious.  Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix.  Granted, such a thing might have seemed somewhat risky at the time.  Either way, the executives who made that decision probably no longer has a job.  Similarly, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated law school, she was passed up by several law firms.  In her case, it was because she was female and law firms didn’t hire women at the time.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to know you passed over someone that went on to the highest court in the land.

RBG follows the career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The name comes from a meme in the vein of The Notorious B.I.G.  It’s not a deep documentary.  There aren’t going to be any surprises.  When studying at Cornell, her classmates were predominantly male.  She was occasionally accused of taking a spot that should have gone to a man.   She was known for taking on gender-bias cases, including a female military officer denied a housing bonus and a widower denied his spouse’s social security benefits.

It’s one of those life-and-times stories that you might see on PBS.  We get to see interviews from family members.  Bill Clinton appears, having been the president to nominate her.  Gloria Steinem is interviewed, as well.  Archival footage of her confirmation hearings, which are interspersed throughout the movie.

I do think it could have gone more in depth.  I don’t know that it necessarily should have, though.  In the age of the Internet, there’s no shortage of information on members of government.   The documentary would probably feel at home in a middle-school civics class.   It would serve as a good introduction into someone who has had a sizeable impact on our country and is only the second woman to serve on The Supreme Court.  (The movie mentions that she’s the 107th person to be appointed.)

I would definitely say that the movie is worth watching.  I don’t know that it will necessarily get a field trip to a theater, but it might be worth renting for a class.

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