Netflix doc sheds light on family’s fight for justice


In April 2020, 20-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen was murdered by another soldier in a Fort Hood armory. The case garnered international attention when investigators discovered that Guillen had been sexually harassed before her murder. Netflix’s new documentary, I Am Vanessa Guillen, will follow Vanessa’s family as they fight for justice and change in the military justice system.

Releasing on November 17, I Am Vanessa Guillen centers on Vanessa’s sisters, Lupe and Mayra. Their hard work and activism led to the eventual passing of the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act, which aims to change how sexual harassment and assault allegations are handled within the military.

Not only does the 95-minute film feature interviews with Lupe and Mayra, but several elected officials also participate, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jackie Spears.

Netflix describes the documentary as “a bracing, candid testament to what a family’s love can do, even in the face of unimaginable grief.”

Vanessa was stationed at Fort Hood in Bell County, Texas. She was last seen walking through a parking lot at 10:30 a.m. on April 22, 2020. When Vanessa went missing, her family reportedly had to push the military to investigate further as they felt the Army was keeping them in the dark regarding their findings on the case. Before she disappeared, Vanessa had told her family that a Fort Hood sergeant was harassing her.

Vanessa’s family has alleged that the Fort Hood Army personnel handling the investigation repeatedly lied to them.

In a statement to PEOPLE, documentary director Christy Wegener said, “At the core, this is a story about overcoming the greatest odds imaginable in the name of family, love, and justice. This is David vs. Goliath on steroids.”

I Am Vanessa Guillen trailer

You can set a reminder right here if you’re interested in watching the doc when it debuts on Netflix. I Am Vanessa Guillen premieres on November 17.



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