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What We Learned from 'RBG'

By Michael M. Clements | August 20, 2018 | Culture People

“I'm 84 and everyone wants to take a picture of me," says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who commands the camera in the documentary, RBG.

rbg.jpgJustice Ginsburg in her office.

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s appointment to the land’s highest court. From her youth through the mid-’60s’ feminist movement to #MeToo of the modern era, arguably no other American has helped advance the cause for equal rights, protections and pay for women more than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a.k.a. the Notorious RBG. “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks,” Ginsburg says poignantly in RBG. The film premiered at Sundance, was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media, and will show on CNN this fall. In it, filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West explore Ginsburg’s early years, her romance with husband Martin Ginsburg, her friendship with late Justice Antonin Scalia and much of the essential work central to the current #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. When her friend Nina Totenberg asked Ginsburg what she thought about #MeToo at the Sundance Women’s Cinema Café, Ginsburg did not hold back. “Well I think it’s about time. For so long women were silent thinking there was nothing you could do about it. Now, law is on the side of women or men who encounter harassment.” Ironically, in the world where celebrities rule—and Harvey Weinstein once prowled—it was the diminutive justice who reigned supreme, not unlike the feisty protagonist of the first film she remembers loving, Gone with the Wind. But, “I don’t know if I would have loved it today,” she told Totenberg. Just as notorious is her dissent collar which we are sure to see throughout the Supreme Court’s busy summer.

rbg-3.jpgA young Ginsburg.