The last time I posted, it was my 21st birthday and I’m sure many of you thought that night probably killed me so let’s catch up for just a sec…
First of all, I finished college yesterday. Crazy. I’m still going through all of the feelings. Proud. Accomplished. Excited. Sad. Uncertain. Unemployed. You get the picture. The last couple of quarters were a worthy foe but I finished strong and now I’m looking forward to a break before building my entire future.
Returning to this blog has always been the first thing on my list once I found the time to revisit my favorite topic in the world: women’s history and I’ve had so many amazing opportunities to share with you in the coming week as we continue to catch up. However, today is not only my first day as a free woman, but it is also Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s birthday. I thought it fitting that the first thing I shared for my time back would be a review I wrote back in October on the amazing documentary “RBG.”
I had the chance to see the film at the Savannah Film Festival where I just happened to interview to Hugh Jackman (don’t believe me? Check it out), as well as Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Peter Hedges, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Despite all of these lovely humans, “RBG” was really the highlight of my week and the review I wrote for our newspaper won a couple of awards a few weeks ago.
Here ya go.
‘RBG’ empowers castaways to fight for change
October 29, 2018
Certainly, when “RBG” came out last month, it was a powerful movie about a powerful woman who has become a powerful icon for a whole new generation of people who still give a damn. But watching it now, after the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, it just goes to show that there will never be a point where Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the phrase, “I dissent,” no longer carry weight.
The documentary feels younger, trendier, and iconographic in its approach to its subject, who has risen in popularity among a younger generation under the moniker “The Notorious R.B.G.” The buttoned-up prestige of the highest court in America is indulged only briefly at the start of the film. Footage of D.C.’s statues of male figures is punctuated by the classical, traditional notes of the “Overture from the Barber of Seville” and the voices of prominent Conservatives, including our current president, calling Ginsburg “vile,” a “witch,” a “zombie” and a “disgrace.”
But then, all of that is tossed away to reveal 84-year-old Ginsburg lifting weights, doing push-ups and holding planks to Dessa’s “The Bullpen,” a prominent spitting line of which is “why am I the only one who’s acting like a gentleman?”
Aside from her killer workout routine, the film portrays RBG as the superhero she is, beyond the flashes of photoshopped images of Black Widow and Wonder Woman. She is shown holding her own in the fight to prove that institutions discriminate on the basis of sex, to earn her place on the Supreme Court and to choose to stand up for what she believes in, even when she is the only one out of nine.
It’s not your typical look into an incredible female figure but RBG isn’t typical. As one friend states, “marching just wasn’t Ruth’s thing.” Instead, as with her passionate love for the opera, she believes in the power of the human voice. She didn’t have a husband that held her back, rather one that did everything he could to push her forward. She found a way to develop quite the raucous friendship with Fellow Justice Antonin Scalia, a man about as different from Ginsberg in his political beliefs as he was in physical appearance.
It’s this atypical persona that directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen tapped into brilliantly, capturing how groundbreaking Ruth was at the start of her career and how transformational she has become to a whole new demographic of people hoping to make a change. It doesn’t mirror the traditional way for viewing history in the same dull light that would have glossed over the time Ginsburg fell asleep during the State of the Union. Instead, it employs sharp wit, allowing her to explain that she had a hard time maintaining a sober expression during the event because she was not entirely sober.
A majority of the film centers around the current preoccupation with Ginsburg’s age. However, instead of treating it like something to be pitied or a sign to retire, the filmmakers show that Ginsberg’s age might have something to do with her appeal to a diverse audience. As one friend says, “who is more disdained or turned away than an older woman?” By showing this invincible side that refuses to be cast aside, “RBG” reflects a growing movement of people who still have standards for who should be given control of this country but who aren’t afraid to make a change of their own.
It really is an incredible documentary that I plan to watch for a fifth time today to celebrate my sudden freedom and the woman who continues to fight for it.
As I said, I have so much to share from the past several months but there will be plenty of time for that later this week. For now, it’s great to be back celebrating the people who have inspired me to stand up to challenges and accomplish all I can.