I Am Vanessa Guillén Trailer: The Fort Hood Murder Investigation That Led To Military Reform

Netflix's latest true crime documentary has just dropped its first trailer, and it aims to shed light on a disturbing story that inspired a movement calling for reform within the military justice system. The film, "I Am Vanessa Guillén," tells the true story of a tragic murder case, a family's hunt for the truth, and a military base that has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years. Like others, I've taken issue with some of Netflix's more exploitative crime projects in the past, but I'll be the first to admit that this doc looks both important and timely — plus, unlike "Dahmer," it apparently has direct involvement from the family of the victim.

You can watch the trailer for "I Am Vanessa Guillén" below:

'It should be everyone's issue'

The story of Vanessa Guillén and a series of deaths at Fort Hood military base in Texas is certainly one that deserves the spotlight. I first read about it in Vanity Fair in 2021, when the outlet tried to figure out exactly how the U.S. Army post became an apparent hotbed for murder, suicide, and disappearances. There have been more deep dives since then, all of them harrowing and complex, but it's clear that one death more than the others led to a push for more transparency and accountability within the military: that of 20-year-old Guillén.

The film marks the feature directorial debut from filmmaker and producer Christy Wegener, and features interviews with Representative Jackie Spears and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The trailer doesn't actually reveal what happened to Guillén, but includes emotional retellings from her loved ones. It begins with her sister's impassioned declaration via a news interview that "they know where she is and I want them to speak up," and traces what ultimately becomes an entire movement built around the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen.

The official synopsis for the film explains how Guillén's murder led to a movement. As it explains, "The film follows Vanessa's sisters Lupe and Mayra as they carry her name from protests in the streets to the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and offers a behind-the-scenes look at their tenacious pursuit to change a deeply rooted, controversial military justice system." Their determination is palpable, even in this two minute-and-change preview. It's impossible not to be moved by that final clip of Lupe's speech, in which she declares, "This is a human issue so it should be everyone's issue!"

"I Am Vanessa Guillén" will stream on Netflix beginning on November 17, 2022.