FFF 2018 Day 9 RBG and The Guilty


The Notorious RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second woman ever nominated to the Supreme Court. During her 25 year tenure on the court, this shy, unassuming intellectual somehow turned into a powerful force to be recognized with–earning her the nickname of The Notorious RBG.

This well paced, informative documentary gives a detailed history of Ginsburg’s life through interviews with family and friends, old photos, archival footage and a healthy dose of The Notorious RBG herself.

If you know nothing about the life of RBG, this documentary will introduce you to one of America’s unsung heroes. Admitted to Harvard Law School in 1956, RBG was one of only nine females in a class of 500 men. When interviewing for admission, the dean of the school asked her to justify taking a spot in the school from a qualified man.

After law school, RBG had difficulty shattering the glass ceiling of gender bias in New York City. But her studious demeanor and razor sharp legal mind eventually overcame most of the prejudice allied against her.

The documentary also explores her 56 year marriage to a remarkable man named Martin Ginsburg. Martin was a prominent New York tax attorney who managed to navigate what could be considered the uncomfortable position of having a very successful spouse in the mid 20th century. The documentary clearly shows he is enlightened way ahead of his time.

Another poignant moment in the film showed RBG’s close personal friendship with the most conservative member of the court, Antonin Scalia. Although often on polar opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, outside the court these two colleagues found mutual appreciation and friendship, particularly in their love of Opera. A highlight of the movie was watching RBG on stage in a Kennedy Center opera production. Fortunately, it was one of the few small, non-singing roles in an Opera.

The filmmaker does a great job introducing you to this remarkable woman. The documentary flows along at a great pace, covering RBG’s life and influence in perfect detail.

At the end of the film, Mr.s LanceAround was ecstatic. “I’m so glad I saw this movie,” she beamed, “It was the highlight of the festival for me.”

The Guilty

All the Action Takes Place on the Phone

It was three quarters of the way through this movie and I was on the edge of my seat when I suddenly realized: This entire film is shot in one room. It is the most action packed movie I have ever seen where over 99% of the action happens with one person talking on the phone.

Earlier in this years FFF we saw a short film entitled The Shift which gives a glimpse into the life of a 9-1-1 operator. This film similarly displays the deluge of stresses and decisions an emergency operator has to make when life and death are on the line.

Filled with unexpected plot twists, this film gradually builds one story line after the other through the phone calls that an emergency operator both takes and makes when confronting a situation which continually spirals deeper and deeper into both tragic and redeeming consequences.

Directed by Gustav Moller and written by Emil Nygaard Albertsen and Gustav Moller, this movie would not have worked without a fantastic script and incredible directing. Nor would it have worked without a powerful, award caliber performance by Jakob Cedergren. A Danish film with English subtitles, the acting is so incredible that the filmgoer barely notices they have to read to dialogue.

This is the kind of film that deserves to be seen in wide release. And I will never understand why that won’t happen for a film of this magnitude.

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