"Knock Down the House" is a Must Watch on Netflix
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Netflix has done it again with the new documentary “Knock Down the House”. The documentary follows four progressive women - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Amy Viela, and Paula Jean Sweareign, who sought to ignore barriers and pursue a run for Capitol Hill. The documentary is centered around AOC, and in conclusion…we stan harder than ever.
AOC made history in becoming the youngest Congresswoman ever elected, and beating out 14-year Democrat incumbent Joe Crowley. The Netflix documentary is so special because we truly get to witness the former-bartender from the Bronx fully transcend into the movement that has now captivated all of the country. “We beat the machine with a movement,” Ocasio-Cortez says in the documentary. The secret to her success? Being fearless, and always prepared.
“Knock Down the House” takes us through AOC’s unrelenting dedication to win her Congressional district - from gathering 10,000 signatures just to get her name on the ballot, knocking door-to-door to get her name out, and being disrespected by her opponent Joe Crowley, who sent in a district councilwoman in his place for a debate with her. AOC’s commitment led her to transform into a political superstar that no one had previously foreseen.
The director of the documentary, Rachel Lears, decided to follow AOC and 3 other Progressive women who were vying for Congress. At the time, she didn’t know that she was filming footage that would later follow a historic Congressional win for Ocasio-Cortez, “I didn’t have this premonition that, you know, this person is the one that wins and becomes a superstar a year and a half from now,” she told Vulture.
AOC didn’t see herself being a politician initially either, she just felt that someone needed to step up and make a change. Her primary race was not about Democratic values vs. Republican values, it was about establishment vs. the voice of the people.
The film also highlights Cori Bush, who made an ambitious run against U.S. Representative Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis), whose family held name recognition in St. Louis for nearly 69 years. Inspired by the activism prompted by the death of Michael Brown, Bush also sought to bring fresh Democratic leadership that was centered around bringing change. We’re also introduced to Nevada’s Amy Viela, a woman who left her position as a businesswoman to stand up for Medicare for all after the death of her 22-year-old daughter, who was determined braindead after a hospital’s refusal to give her care without proof of insurance. We meet Paula Jean Swearengin from West Virginia, who took on incumbent senator Joe Manchin. Although these women didn’t win their primaries, they teach us something powerful: every-day women can run for Congress, too.
“Knock Down the House” is a powerful film that is sure to inspire any viewer. We may have shed a few thug tears at the end, too.