STORY: It was more than a decade ago when a gunman tried to kill U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords at a political gathering outside a grocery store in her home state of Arizona.
Six people died in the mass shooting and Giffords, who was shot in the head, was critically wounded.
Her remarkable journey to recovery and ensuing gun control activism is chronicled in the new documentary “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down”.
GIFFORD, TO REUTERS: "Strong women get things done.”
That’s Giffords speaking to Reuters – along with co-directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West – known for their Oscar-nominated film on late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and another on cooking legend Julia Child.
WEST: “Gabby is yet another strong woman that we've had the opportunity to, to film. And I would say really one of the most inspiring.”
The documentary includes moments from her political rise, along with intimate footage of her recovery and her marriage to former astronaut turned Democratic Senator Mark Kelly. With a lot of unexpected curves.
COHEN: “Like, we did not anticipate how much she was going to kind of run us ragged in terms of following everything. Like, oh, the gym, then we're biking, then speech therapy, then…”
COHEN: "Yoga. Yes."
WEST: “And the role that music played in that recovery and in Gabby’s life right now. We spent a lot of time… [the women break into singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads”]. We sang a lot.”
And then, there’s this revelation - from a woman who once couldn’t speak.
GIFFORDS IN FILM: “I’m studying for my Bat Mitzvah”… [cuts to her singing in Hebrew.]
As for the film’s message, Giffords is very clear:
“For me it has been really important to move ahead, to not look back. I hope others are inspired to keep moving forward no matter what.”
“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down" is in theaters starting July 15th.