At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans, until now. RBG (2018) explores Ginsburg’s life and career through interviews, public appearances, and archival material.
Co-Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen joined Jeannine DeLombard (English, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.
Co-Director and Co-Producer Betsy West
Betsy West is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and educator. She was executive producer of the Makers documentary and digital project (AOL & PBS, 2012), the feature documentary The Lavender Scare (2017), and the short documentary 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Epix, 2016). A producer and executive for over two decades at ABC News, West received 21 Emmy® Awards and two duPont-Columbia Awards for her work on “Nightline,” “PrimeTimeLive,” and the documentary program ”Turning Point.” As senior vice president at CBS News from 1998-2005, she oversaw “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours,” and was executive in charge of the CBS documentary 9/11, winner of the Primetime Emmy® Award in 2002.
A graduate of Brown University, West holds a Master’s in Communications from Syracuse University. In 2007, she joined the faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she is the Fred W. Friendly Professor of Professional Practice in Media and Society.
Co-Director and Co-Producer Julie Cohen
Julie Cohen has directed and produced eight feature documentaries, including The Sturgeon Queens (7th Art Releasing), which screened at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival and 60 others, winning 10 Audience Choice Awards; American Veteran (Freestyle Digital Media) which screened at 20 festivals, and won the 2017 Panavision Showcase Award for New York filmmakers; and I Live to Sing (WNET) which won the 2014 New York Emmy® Award for Best Arts Program, one of three New York Emmys® she has won since 2012.
Before starting her own production company Better Than Fiction, Cohen was a staff producer at NBC News for nine years, where she won the Individual Achievement Award for Best News Producer from American Women in Radio and Television (Gracie Award). In the 1990s she created and produced Court TV’s weekly program Supreme Court Watch. A graduate of Colgate University, she holds Master’s degrees from Yale Law School, where she was a Knight Journalism Fellow, and Columbia University, where she is currently an adjunct professor in the documentary program
Moderator Jeannine DeLombard (English, UCSB)
Jeannine Marie DeLombard is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where maintains an Affiliation with the History Department. She specializes in African American and pre-1900 American literature, with a particular interest in identity and personhood at the intersections of slavery, law, and print publicity. Her last book, In the Shadow of the Gallows: Race, Crime, and American Civic Identity (Penn 2012) serves as a prequel of sorts to her first book, Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture (UNC 2007). She is currently at work on her third book, Bound to Respect: Democratic Dignity & the Indignities of Slavery.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center
and the 2018 Critical Issues in America series “Changing Faces of U.S. Citizenship.”
The Critical Issues in America series is sponsored by the College of Letters and Science and in 2018 is organized by Professor Beth DePalma Digeser (History) and Professor Helen Morales (Classics, Argyropoulos Professor of Hellenic Studies), with co-sponsorship from the Office of the Executive Vice-Chancellor, the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity, and the Academic Senate.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to screening documentaries from across the world that engage with contemporary and historical issues, especially regarding social justice and environmental concerns. Documentaries allow filmmakers to address pressing issues and frame the critical debates of our time.