Film Series justly ends its season with ‘RBG’
Park City Film Series will present Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s documentary, “RBG,” rated PG, from Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. Friday’s and Saturday’s screenings will start at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s screening will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang considers Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a hero.
“She is an incredible icon, and while generally a very quiet person, she is also a revolutionary person,” Wang said. “And she’s has had such an impact on American culture, law and women’s rights.”
Wang said the public will get a chance to see that impact during the Park City Film Series’ final weekend screening of the season with Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s documentary, “RBG,” rated PG, from Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.
The film, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, spotlights Ginsburg, and shows how the public will stop and listen when she says “I dissent,” according to Wang.
“In the film she says she didn’t want to approach issues through anger and be bombastic,” Wang said. “Instead she decided to use her incisive and incredible language, especially in her dissents, which she has become famous for.”
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 vote, reversed a Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling that Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, discriminated against a gay couple by not making a wedding cake in 2012.
Phillips cited his religion did not believe in same-sex marriages.
The Court found the Commission exhibited hostility towards the bakery owner’s religious views, and did not protect his Free Exercise rights with neutrality. The court also found the Commision compared Phillips’ religious beliefs to defense of slavery or the Holocaust, which the court found “inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.”
Ginsburg dissented, and was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Ginsburg’s opinion stated that the Commission evaluated the case fairly. She went on to say, “Phillips declined to make a cake he found offensive where the offensiveness of the product was determined solely by the identity of the customer requesting it… when a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding — not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings — and that is the service (the couple) were denied.”
Other dissents include the 2007 case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
The Supreme Court sided with Goodyear after Lilly Ledbetter sued it for gender discrimination, after discovering the company had been paying her less than her male counterparts for nearly 20 years.
Goodyear argued that their contract required discrimination complaints to be filed within 180 days of violation.
After the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of Goodyear, Ginsburg dissented, saying Ledbetter couldn’t have filed her complaint sooner because she didn’t know she was being discriminated against.
Another of Ginsburg’s dissensions followed the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
The court ruled 5-4 that the owners of Hobby Lobby, a for-profit company, could exercise their religious freedom by not providing female employees insurance coverage for birth control.
Ginsburg responded that “Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.”
Wang looks forward to showing the film because it also explores Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the human being.
“The documentary takes the audience on her personal journey, a story that is largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans,” Wang said.
One scene addresses how Harvard Law School officials treated her when she was one of just nine women in a class of 500 men in 1956.
“Justice Ginsburg says the dean had asked the women why there were there and how they justified taking the place of men who wanted to attend the school,” Wang said. “That’s what the world was like. Sexism was much more rampant than today, not that it’s gone away. But that’s what she had to fight against.”
Ginsburg, who transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated at the top of her class, also talks about her late husband, Martin, who passed away in 2010.
“It’s great to hear how supportive he was of her career, especially during the 1950s,”
Wang knew she wanted the Park City Film Series to screen “RBG” as soon as it was available.
“It’s so powerful to see how this tiny woman takes no prisoners in how she feels the laws should be and how people should be protected by these laws,” Wang said. “It’s an honor to bring Justice Ginsburg’s story back to the community, especially the young girls and boys who we hope will come out to the screenings.”
In addition, Sunday’s screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher, featuring Utah Supreme Court Justice Paige Peterson, University of Utah Law Professor Erika George and ACLU of Utah Legislative and Policy Counsel Marina Lowe.
“We are trying to represent different stages of Justice Ginsburg’s own career with these women,” Wang said. “We feel they will do justice to Justice Ginsburg’s points on her career path.”
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