Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen, who both helmed the RBG documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, spent a lot of time getting to know Ginsburg throughout the making of the film. They spent 14 months with her in order to be able to capture her rise to the Supreme Court and her daily life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
West and Cohen used interviews as a way to get to know Ginsburg from a new perspective and be able to show audiences her personality. “We knew what we wanted to ask her about,” says West. “I felt when we sat down, she came to talk. She came to answer whatever question we had.”
The documentary focuses on Ginsburg in the 21st century and her popularity among millennials, despite the well-known narrative of her rise to fame when she first began to fight against sex discrimination, which is shown in the new drama film about Ginsburg On the Basis of Sex starring Felicity Jones. There are, however, moments in the documentary showing footage of when she first met her husband, Marty Ginsburg, at Cornell University and her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The focus on her recent life takes cameras into her activities, such as going to the gym, and her favorite pastime of going to watch opera. West says that Ginsburg rarely showed any indication that she felt the presence of the cameras, acting naturally in her daily routine as if they were not there.
The documentary is currently nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.