Honoring Notorious RBG: What to watch to learn more about the late justice

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg mid-workout in “RBG,” a Magnolia Pictures movie. Magnolia Pictures/CNN Films/TNS

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last Friday at the age of 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Though diminutive in stature, “The Notorious RBG,” who was the second woman on the Supreme Court, nominated in 1993, became a larger than life figure. She was a symbol, an icon of the fight for women’s rights and gender equality, known for her brilliant and fiery dissents. She was a real-life superhero, outfitted in robes and her signature lace collar.

There are two films about Ginsburg’s remarkable life and career, both worth watching to learn more about her, or simply pay tribute to and remember this tremendously influential figure.

For an introductory primer, check out the inspiring, Oscar-nominated 2018 documentary “RBG,” directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen. “RBG” takes a look at the greatest hits of her long career and life through the lens of the pop culture and the feminist icon Ginsburg became in the 2010s. The film features interviews with Ginsburg herself, as well as family, friends, colleagues and plaintiffs in many of her most important legal cases. It’s the perfect film to learn more about Ginsburg and her impact on the United States and its Constitution.

Stream “RBG” now on Hulu.

The 2019 film “On the Basis of Sex” starred Felicity Jones as Ginsburg as a young lawyer in the early days of her career. Written by RBG’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman and directed by Mimi Leder, the film isn’t just a legal drama, but a touching portrait of Ginsburg’s lifelong loving and equal marriage to Martin Ginsburg. The film showcases the gender discrimination Ginsburg experienced, the challenges she faced finding a job despite graduating first in her class from Harvard Law. It ultimately culminates with one of her landmark gender equality cases, Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, which she argued in 1972 before the 10th Circuit Court. Ginsburg strategically took on cases with male plaintiffs, in order to argue that gender discrimination affects both men and women. While “On the Basis of Sex” proves to be in many ways an intimate biopic of Ginsburg’s early life and marriage, it also demonstrates just how influential she was in legally carving out women’s rights and arguing against gender discrimination, effectively shaping the world as we know it.

It’s a worthy watch indeed to go deeper with RBG.

Stream it now on Showtime or for a $5.99 rental on AMC Theaters On Demand.

If you just can’t get enough RBG, Kate McKinnon’s impression of the justice on “Saturday Night Live” has become a recurring favorite bit on the show. Check out this compilation of her appearances on “Weekend Update,” featuring her unforgettable catchphrase, “You’ve been Ginsburned.”

Watch it at wdt.me/mckinnon.

Rest in power, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thank you for your thoughtful service to this country.

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