Ask Dr. Ruth

SIZE DOES MATTER.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the diminutive sex therapist with a thick German accent who became a phenomenon in the 1980s, is still going strong as she turns 90, keeping herself busy with work. This very likable and engrossing documentary tells her story, taking us through her childhood in Frankfurt, the orphanage years in Switzerland during the war, how she was trained as a sniper in Israel, studied psychology at the Sorbonne and much later hosted a revolutionary radio show, ”Sexually Speaking”, in New York. We learn about how she deals with the pain of losing one’s parents in the Holocaust, the love affairs of her life and how she changed the way we talk about sex. A traditional but rewarding and inspiring portrait.

2019-U.S. 100 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Jessica Hargrave, Chris Leggett, Rafael Marmor, Ryan White. Directed by Ryan White.

Last word: “We had conversations in the editing room because the film was so dark at time, but her personality and her work had been so bright. We decided that the structure of the film should literally mimic her personality. The way she works, she doesn’t want to talk about the dark times because she has such an optimistic personality. She doesn’t want to revisit her painful past, and that’s understandable. But I knew that had to be a part of the film, so whenever I would … try to take her down that path, I would make a certain amount of progress, and then Dr. Ruth would pivot that.” (White, Pop Matters)

 

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