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rbg is a documentary about white feminism. it features faces of women who arent white, especially when the documentary shows ginsburg talking to college students in various locations. it doesnt feature their voices at all, aside from creating memes about ginsburg. the documentary makes a huge deal about cases dealing with sexual discrimination ginsburg argued as a lawyer. same with the cases she heard on the supreme court. but the documentary doesnt explain, or even argue against, ginsburgs positions outside her sexual discrimination cases or cases involving voting. it doesnt seriously question her friendship with scalia, instead lamenting about how “conservative” the supreme court has gotten over the years (while ignoring the justices that were appointed on the court by, well, republicans before clinton). theres a part in the documentary where, after the notorious r.b.g. tumblr is mentioned, the documentary plays a snippet of “juicy.” this documentary unquestionably used a snippet of a song which was about the notorious b.i.g. celebrating overcoming his rise from adversity to achieving success as a rapper. (wild guess, the filmmakers dont know about “juicys” main sample, mtumes “juicy fruit,” either.) and theres also the non-question of the appropriation of black culture for that aforementioned tumblr. the idea of intersectional feminism doesnt exist in this documentary.
rbg is a documentary that believes in bipartisanship and doesnt question it at all. theres the aforementioned handwringing about the current “conservative” court without questioning the legacy of the supreme court (historically mostly going against a lot of social movements, well before brown v. board of education, even). in addition to not questioning scalia at all for the most part, it features bill clinton. for a documentary thats supposedly about feminism in part, youd think the filmmakers would not consider literally interviewing him for this documentary. he has been accused of sexual harassment and assault, after all, and yet. then again, consider who one of the companies that produced the documentary: cnn films. of course a network about “bipartisanship” would produce a documentary not questioning “bipartisanship” or the actions of previous presidents.
the documentary does set up ginsburgs early years and her law school days fairly well, but gets dull when it starts to talk about the cases she argued or heard on the supreme court. and then, after a mention of shelby county v. holder, it mostly talks about ginsburg as a meme and as some sort of #resistance hero, especially in the face of trump. this documentary doesnt question her public appearances, and especially literally appearing in an opera.
rbg is the equivalent of going to a store like wildfang and discovering that you can buy candles and journals with ginsburgs face on it. ginsburg-themed candles and journals are amusing to look at, but dont have a lot of substance behind them, just like this documentary.
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