Synopsis: The film tells the improbable story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who couldn’t get a job despite tying first in her graduating law class and making Law Review at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. It also reveals both the public and private sides of a resilient, resourceful woman who has survived the hostility of the profoundly male universe of government and law to become a revered Justice and advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. How did Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work as a litigator for the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project; as a professor; and as an appellate judge make a difference? Most importantly how did her trailblazing work in the l970’s arguing landmark gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court become a turning point for her and the everyday lives of men and women? And how does Justice Ginsburg’s pioneering work on behalf of gender equality continue to resonate through her opinions and work during her 27 years on the Supreme Court? With these questions at the heart of RUTH, the film dramatizes a confluence of factors –personal, psychological, social and political that impacted the course of her work and life. The film is designed as an immersive experience through the direct words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a professor, advocate, Judge and Justice; the use of evocative animation and intimate illustrations to visualize complex constitutional cases; by the insights of colleagues who have directly worked with or have been impacted by her forty years as a legal icon; and by using a rich original score by a Grammy winning composer.
AVAILABLE FOR 72 HRS STARTING Wednesday May 19th AT 8:30 PM
Abe and Marian Sofaer
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE FILM
Stay tuned for a fascinating interview conducted by Judge Abe Sofaer
a long-time SVJFF supporter, interviewing RBG’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg
The interview recording will be available for viewing in the “Post Film Discussions” section, located under the “2021 FEATURED FILMS” section, on the Home page of SVJFF on FFF.
POST-MOVIE CONVERSATION VIA ZOOM MEETING
Sunday, May 23rd at 1:00 pm
With Director Freida Mock with Abe and Marian Sofaer
When I was asked by a team of imaginative Executive Producers to direct and produce a film about Justice Ginsburg, I had a general idea about the distinguished Justice but little about the fascinating personal story of perseverance and loss, obstacles and achievements of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that have impacted the lives of ordinary men and women, boys and girls, in America and the world. After a period of wide reading, research and screening hundreds of hours of visual material by our team, I was struck by Justice Ginsburg’s special interest in meeting with student groups-5th graders, as an example,who asked impressive,well –prepared questions. Asked one 10-year-old: “Of the six women’s rights cases that you argued before the Supreme Court, which do you think has made the biggest change?” or the 5th grade boy: “Is it hard to become a Supreme Court justice because you were a woman?” As a filmmaker I was looking for a way to tell Justice Ginsburg’s story that would be riveting, moving and surprising. In one ofJustice Ginsburg’s answers to the students, I found what could be the dramatic core of the filmRUTH. In her direct, engaging way Justice Ginsburg said to the school children: “I had three strikes against me -I was Jewish, a woman, and a mother of a four year old.” This became the animating theme of the film and a way to unfold her story: How does a woman with three strikes against her rise to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court? What did she draw on to overcome obstacles? The confluence of personal, social and political factors -the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, national politics, the profound influence of her mother-the epic and the intimate would intersect and impact the course of the work and life of Justice Ginsburg. We were finishing the film in the fall of 2018 during the time of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court and found his story an interesting counterpoint to that dramatized in RUTH and its basic exploration, “How does one rise to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court as an associate Justice?”