1K with Julie Cohen: Making the documentary “RBG”

There are some figures in the political world we know far too much about. On the other end of the spectrum, there are members of government whose personal lives remain closed off. One of those figures is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who maintains a loyal, obsessive following, despite her indifference to being in the public eye.

That changes in the Academy Award-nominated documentary “RBG,” which was co-directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. We sat down with Cohen to talk about the film, which is the first documentary about a sitting Supreme Court Justice. From archival home movies to exclusive footage of Justice Ginsburg killing it in the gym, it offers a look into her life that you won’t find anywhere else.

In her thousand seconds with us, Cohen discusses the challenge of documenting a spotlight-averse subject, RBG’s unlikely friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and the nerve-wracking moment they showed Justice Ginsburg a Saturday Night Live clip of comedian Kate McKinnon’s wacky impersonation (resulting in one of the most endearing moments in documentary film history).

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