“I’m optimistic,” Gabby Giffordthe former U.S. congresswoman from Arizona, told me when I met her in Hollywood on Tuesday, where she was attending a premiere screening of Julie Cohen and Betsy Westthe new documentary Gabby Giffords won’t back down just hours after a landmark agreement to pass limited gun safety reforms was reached in the US Senate. Giffords, who was shot in the head in an attack in 2011 and still bears the scars of that terrible day, said of the way forward for this and other similar bills: “It will be long and difficult, but I am optimistic!”
The 52-year-old, who was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007 and resigned in 2012, told me about the Cohen and West documentary, which Tom Ortenberg‘s Briarcliff Entertainment will release some 200 Threats on July 15, which it calls “Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!”
Cohen and West, who were nominated for an Oscar for the 2018 Ruth Bader Ginsberg feature documentary RBG and in the running for the 2021 Oscar Julia Child feature documentary Julia, think just as well about them. “Getting to know Gabby, for us as filmmakers, but really more as human beings, has been such an amazing and joyful experience,” Cohen noted, “and we’re so excited that viewers can get one before -taste. themselves.” Added West, “Gabby is an extraordinarily persistent, optimistic and enthusiastic person, just like RBG and Julia. And, on top of that, she has a fantastic love affair with the senator. Mark Kelly [the astronaut turned U.S. Senator to whom Giffords has been married since 2007]so our film about her is another feminist love story.
Giffords’ indomitable spirit is at the center of the documentary, and it was also on display on Tuesday as she joined Cohen and West in a movie theater lobby in a rousing rendition of John Denver‘s”Take me home, country roads,during which she struggled much less to find and articulate the words than she does in conversation, an unfortunate sequel to the 2011 gunshot. (West later explained, “Music is a big part of Gabby recovery and his life. »
Peter Amblerwho is executive director of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, an organization he co-founded with Giffords and Kelly in 2013, accompanied the congresswoman to Hollywood and spoke with THR on behalf of her and him when responding to a question from this reporter about the Senate deal: “We feel really fantastic. This is a historic achievement for the gun safety movement. Many of the policies that are being put in place will have a real and measurable impact, in terms of saving the lives of children in communities and schools across the country. And I think it’s also an important day for our democracy, showing that Democrats and Republicans can come together around something – anything – that’s in the public interest. And I’m especially proud that this is the issue Gabby, I and the Giffords team have worked on so tirelessly over the past decade.