Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down

Julie Cohen, Betsy West, USA 2022, 98’
European premiere
Fragments of Paradise McEnroe

The heavily wounded congresswoman Gabby Giffords is fighting for a return to normal life while challenging the NRA and other radical defenders of gun rights. A poignant documentary about the crime, its victims and the hope that modern America can still be changed.

“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down” begins with the former Arizona representative placing flowers in memorial vases for victims of gun violence. With a voiceover rife with potent pauses, her cadence sounds for a moment like a spoken word poem. While her rhythm is indeed intentional and meaningful, it’s not out of a sense of artistry. Instead, it’s a sign of the aphasia Giffords has wrestled with since a bullet ripped through her brain on Jan. 8, 2011. A gunman obsessed with the congressperson attempted to assassinate her as she was greeting constituents at a Tucson supermarket. Giffords and 12 others survived the mass shooting, but six people did not, including civics-interested Christina-Taylor Green, 9, and federal judge John Roll.

‘Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down’ Review: ‘RBG’ Directors Add Another Shero to Their Formidable Filmography of Impressive Women (

Jakub Demiańczuk

Julie Cohen, Betsy West

Julie Cohen is the Academy Award nominated, Emmy winning director and producer of RBG (2018) along with Betsy West. Also with West, she directed Julia (2021) and My Name is Pauli Murray (2021). Previous films include The Sturgeon Queens, American Veteran and I Live to Sing. Before making documentaries, Julie was a producer for NBC News. As a producer at ABC News, Betsy West won 21 Emmy Awards. She is the Fred W. Friendly Professor Emerita at Columbia Journalism School.


2018 RBG (doc.)

2021 My Name Is Pauli Murray (doc.)

2021 Julia (doc.)

2022 Niezniszczalna Gabby Giffords / Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Julie Cohen, Betsy West
screenplay Julie Cohen, Betsy West
cinematography Dyanna Taylor
editing Ilya Chaiken
music Miriam Cutler
cast Gabriele Gifford, Mark Kelly, Barack Obama
producer Lisa Erspamer, Sam Jinishian
production Lisa Erspamer Entertainment, Storyville Film, Time Studios
sales Briarcliff
language English
coloration colour
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