RBG (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

2018 is a year full of documentaries showcasing how great we should feel about several celebrity figures. RBG (2018) is another one that puts Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the spotlight of praise and admiration that I was pleased to watch. It often shocks me how little I know about political figures, but learning who she is in both the political landscape and her personal life was a truly entertaining experience.

RBG is a compelling documentary about an important figure in American society.

In RBG, directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West highlight the career of Ginsburg, as well as covering aspects of her personal life – particularly her marriage to Martin D. Ginsburg. There are many touching stories of the long love and happy marriage between the two, which are juxtaposed to her stubborn work ethic, ranging from the time of her appointment as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice by President Bill Clinton all the way to modern day and her current influence on society and rulings.

It is clear that the directors are fans of Ginsburg, as very little negativity is brought to light. To be fair, I don’t know that there is any to bring, but this documentary sets out to make the viewers aware of all the contributions made by Ginsburg. Her passions fall to equality, as she has used the law to fight discrimination on the basis of sex, which so happens to be the title of the narrative film starring Felicity Jones as Ginsburg playing in theaters now. It’s clear that Ginsburg is no ordinary person, and her determination and passion for her career easily earn the respect of the viewers.

While the career elements are important to both the film and Ginsburg’s character, it’s her personal life and interests that really connected with me. I’ve learned this year that I am not a big fan of opera, but she really is. There are a few moments dedicated to her passion for the art and it makes this political figure feel more human. Of course, her relationship with her family is really where you’ll find a connection. The stories of her husband and his commitment to her and hers to he are unbelievably endearing. Besides supporting her fight for women’s rights, he clearly had a progressive point-of-view himself often choosing to proudly step aside to help her with her career. The dynamics of their relationship was refreshing and only adds to the love of the figure.

Final thoughts…

RBG is an engaging documentary that is very easy to watch. While it is clearly one-sided in their view of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that fact doesn’t prevent the film from being well assembled and potentially enjoyable. Though people who don’t like Ginsburg already will likely remain in their point-of-view, supporters and neutral parties will likely find joy in this documentary. RBG earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.

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