Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords will be the subject of an upcoming documentary film. A new trailer has been released for the film Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down. The trailer begins with old footage of Giffords running for congress and her victory. It then shows an interview with President Barack Obama for the film, who describes Giffords as a “star.” The trailer also shows old news footage of Giffords talking about her fiancé, astronaut Mark Kelly, who would later become her husband. In an interview with Kelly for the film, he talks about how while there risks with his job as an astronaut, it would later turn out that she was the one with the risky job.
The trailer then focuses on Giffords’ injury after being shot in an assassination attempt that occurred on January 8, 2011, in a supermarket parking lot. Six people were killed during the attack. Giffords suffered an injury to the head from a gunshot wound. A voice-over in the trailer talks about how less than 10% of people with a similar type of injury survive. The trailer then shows Giffords in rehab. One moment shown is Giffords working on her speech after suffering from a language impairment called aphasia. Kelly then talks about how after Giffords was released from the hospital, she decided to step down because the people who elected her need someone could “give them 100%.” The trailer then talks about how she now communicates with an emphasis on facial expressions and touch. In an interview for the film, Giffords herself talks about how she struggles with speaking after the injury. It then shows Giffords returning to the U.S. Capitol to publicly speak. The trailer concludes with more recent footage of her speaking to an Arizona crowd.
The film was directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. The duo previously directed the 2021 Julia Child documentary Julia, My Name Is Pauli Murray, and the 2018 Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG. During the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, RBG won the award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. It was also nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming, and Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special. RBG was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song at the 2019 Academy Awards. “Within minutes of meeting Gabby Giffords, we knew we had to make a film about this phenomenal woman,” Cohen and West told Variety earlier this year. “The intelligence, humor, and toughness she brings to every personal and political challenge that comes her way makes Gabby not only an ideal documentary subject, but also a spectacular human being to spend time with.”
The film was produced by Lisa Erspamer and Sam Jinishian. Amy Entelis, Courtney Sexton, Ian Orefice, Alexandra Johnes, Tom Ortenberg, and Oren Jacoby were executive producers. The film was produced by CNN Films and co-produced by Time Studios. “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down is a triumphant portrayal of resilience, courage, and the power of the human spirit,” Time Studios President Ian Orefice previously said about the film. “We could not be more thrilled to partner with the remarkable team of Betsy and Julie as they have created one of the most inspirational films of our time.”
Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 15. In the meantime, check out the film’s new trailer: