About The Film
A disturbing exposé into political extremism and vigilante justice, MOTHER WITH A GUN recounts the violent history of the Jewish Defense League through the eyes of its current leader.
Classified by the FBI as a right-wing terrorist group, the Jewish Defense League has long courted controversy for espousing violence in response to global threats of anti-Semitism. The history of the JDL is given unique insight and access through the complex and polarizing figure of Shelley Rubin, an archetypical good girl who left behind an affluent Los Angeles upbringing for an unlikely path to Jewish militancy. After falling in love with fiery JDL leader Irv Rubin, she picked up the reins of the organization following her husband’s suicide in prison as he awaited trial in a bomb plot. Her ascendancy and hardline views come at a deeply personal cost, as Rubin faces family alienation, and the imprisonment and murder of acquaintances.
Questioning the limits of the principle of “an eye for an eye,” documentarian Jeff Daniels presents a portrait of a woman tragically caught in a void of personal pain and violent activism.