The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was known for her collection of fancy lace necklaces that she wore with her black dresses. But she also had an eclectic assortment of handbags, ranging from satchels and tote bags for everyday use to evening bags for special occasions like the opera. In the short film “Making the Case”, filmmaker Jennifer Callahan sits down with Ginsburg for a demo session that reveals the provenance and contents of the handbags, as well as fascinating details about Ginsburg herself.
“If I left the house without a bag, I would go straight back inside to pick it up,” Ginsburg told the director as she showcases her collection. There is a beige multi-pocket satchel that contains his copy of the United States Constitution in addition to his cell phone, checkbook, dark glasses and keys; a range of decorative evening bags, including one in opera costume fabric and another with silver bead embroidery made for her in China; and a large tote she carried the others in, neatly wrapped in plastic.
âI was thinking about the role and meaning of objects in everyday life,â Callahan said. âThinking of the accessories traditionally claimed by women, handbags, I saw that Justice Ginsburg in her public life often carried a handbag and / or tote with her. I thought she, a person known for her love of art and its value to women’s lives, might be open to a discussion about such items. I was very fortunate to have met Justice Ginsburg through someone we knew in common. When she agreed to sit down for this movie, I felt that she recognized something that she had in common with most women: even famous women carry work, practicalities and personal attachments. everywhere in their deceptively simple and unexamined “cases”. “
“Making the Case” Now Screening Virtually at DOC NYC Film Festival 2020 [DocNYC.net] as part of the Shorts: She Stories program and begins airing at the HollyShorts Film Festival 2020 [hollyshorts.com] November 16.
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