Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most talked-about politicians in modern history - and Knock Down the House shows us all why.
“The reason why, was because nobody else would.” So says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of her decision to run in the 2018 US primaries despite going against someone unchallenged for 14 years, her lack of experience and simultaneously working as a bartender to support her family.
It’s a journey covered in Knock Down the House a moving, empowering, history-making documentary that shows how important grass roots movements are, the difference everyday people can make. And perhaps most crucially, will fire you up and asking yourself: “what must I do?”
It’s not the first time the politician hit the headlines in recent weeks, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had the best response when she was called ‘unlikeable’ in the press.
In Knock Down the House, director Rachel Lears follows four working-class, progressive Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin as they pound the streets in their attempts to get elected in the primaries (where voters indicate their preference for a candidate), all challenging established and powerful male incumbents in the process.
Vilela from Las Vegas is inspired by the death of her daughter who couldn’t afford medical insurance. Bush, a nurse, got involved with politics after the murder of Michael Brown in her home town of St. Louis, Missouri.
But it’s Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, who takes up the bulk of the story as she becomes one of the fastest rising and talked-about politicians in modern history. AOC is relatable, often vulnerable and fist-pumpingly energising.
The film starts with her putting her make-up on at her small apartment in the Bronx, New York discussing the pressures of how women are expected to present themselves to the world.
As AOC moves deeper in the political sphere she bemoans how her voices goes up two octaves when she’s nervous and practises reclaiming her space physically as she readies herself for a TV debate with opponent Joe Crowley.
We all know, that AOC was elected to the US Congress in November 2018 – the youngest woman to ever hold that position, in a year where a record 117 were also elected to Congress.
Not everyone in this documentary is victorious, but as AOC tells her niece: “for every 10 rejections, you get one acceptance, and that’s how you win everything”.
Knock Down the House is On Netflix on May 1