If your ideas about Ruth Bader Ginsburg tend towards those expressed on conservative talk radio clips played here—e.g. “She’s an absolute disgrace to the Supreme Court”—this mostly hagiographic profile isn’t likely to change your mind. It’s a soup-to-nuts primer on the 84-year-old associate justice, tracing her life from childhood in 1930s Brooklyn, to being one of the few women at Harvard Law School in the 1950s, to her work on landmark gender-equality cases before the Supreme Court as an attorney. It’s all dutifully and respectfully presented in exactly the way you might predict from a CNN documentary, right down to the cello music for the underscore and the stock-footage images of 1970s women’s rights protests. Still, there are insightful moments throughout, whether it’s a look at how she responds to her own status as a pop-culture icon, her friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, or her relationship with her late husband, Marty. If her introverted nature keeps her from revealing much of herself to the camera, there’s plenty in her words as a jurist to convey the passion that drives her.
Director: Betsy West and Julie Cohen
Producer: Betsy West, Julie Cohen, Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton
Cast: Ruth Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem and Nina Totenberg