2019 Film Reviews - 14: RBG [dir. Julie Cohen & Betsy West; 2018]
In a documentary concerned with the power of laws to shape our lives, it’s appropriate that a great deal of screen time is devoted to words. On several occasions, they literally flash before our eyes, illustrating one development after another in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tireless attempts to purge the USA’s statutes of their many biases towards sexual inequality. What’s more, the words serve to highlight the importance of education, study and thoughtfulness, turning the whole into a celebration of an almost Gandhi-like, dogged pursuit of one’s ambition. Perhaps greater attention could have been paid to Ginsburg’s formative Uni days and, more importantly, to an examination of the criticisms some aim at her; dissenting voices are notable by their absence in a film about one of America’s most high-profile dissenters. But in the main this is a warm-hearted, welcome and timely reminder - very much in the tradition of ‘straight’, unfussy bio-docs - that although many battles may have been won over the years, the equality war certainly ain’t over yet.