Ask Dr. Ruth
Directed by Ryan White
Out May 3
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, known lovingly as America’s sex therapist, is almost 91. And it’s possible that there has never been a better time to celebrate her incredible life than right now, when we need some hope (and better sex education) more than ever. The documentary Ask Dr. Ruth oscillates between painful recollections of the educator’s childhood growing up in Europe during the Holocaust, clips from her various television shows and guest appearances, and Westheimer’s reflections now. Viewers also revisit the ways in which her shows and opinions were considered radical when Westheimer first gained traction in the ’80s—especially when she provided revolutionary support to those living with HIV/AIDS and validated individuals who needed or wanted abortions.
More insight into Westheimer’s thoughts on how discussions of sex have shifted over time, and how we can apply her teachings today, would have added another crucial dimension to the documentary. But as it is, Ask Dr. Ruth is an emotional and enjoyable highlight reel for those who have grown up watching her onscreen. For those unfamiliar with her, this is a comprehensive introduction to an undeniably brilliant expert in all things sex and sexuality. 3/5
By Lydia Wang
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
More from BUST