A delightful non-fiction portrait of septegarian Jewish grandmothers who became longtime lovers, “Ruthie & Connie” chronicles the pair’s turbulent past and exemplary present. At just under an hour, featurette is a longshot for theatrical exposure, but extensive gay-fest bookings should lead to long life as a broadcast item.
Brooklyn housewives active in their Jewish communities, Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz met in 1959. It took 15 years before they acknowledged their inseparable friendship had developed into something else — prompting divorces, gossip, and considerable strain on their relationships with offspring and others. Still semi-closeted long after they’d moved in together, hitherto reluctant Ruthie comes out “in a big way” at last in the late 1980s. These days, dividing time between NYC and Florida, the couple is more visible than ever, having once sued the NYC Board of Education for partner benefits, volunteering with numerous orgs, and finally “tying the knot” via a huge synagogue wedding. Subjects’ fondly argumentative chemistry is winning, their willingness to bare past personal pain often moving; their commitment to social justice inspiring. Vet docmeister Deborah Dickson deftly weaves archival and verite elements into an offhand yet brisk package.