After the box office and critical success of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG last year, it was inevitable that there would soon be a live action version of her story. On The Basis Of Sex is that film and it’s a fine work. She is a fascinating person and one of the most important women of the last century.
The filmmakers have wisely chosen a single case to focus on and it formed an important milestone in Bader Ginsburg’s career. In it she took on generations of prejudice based on gender in American law and won her first important case. In a life filled with many major accomplishments, trying to feature too many cases would have defused the film’s impact.
The story also sheds a spotlight on how marginalised women were in American society in the fifties, sixties and even into the seventies. The struggle of women to acquire an education, raise a family and have a career forms the backbone of this story. Overcoming intrinsic sexism also features heavily in the story arc.
Bader Ginsburg is a rock star of the legal profession and even rose to the heights of being a Supreme Court Judge, a position she still holds. On The Basis Of Sex focuses on the early flame that has burnt so bright ever since. Thanks to her tireless work on behalf on women’s rights, those roles that were so very limited and so clearly defined have slowly begun to expand.