In 2018, four women – Amy Vilela in Nevada, Cori Bush in Missouri, Paula Jean Swearengin in West Virginia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York – ran primary campaigns against establishment Democrats in the midterm elections. Director Rachel Lears chronicled their campaigns and captured their stories in her award-winning documentary Knock Down the House, which is coming to Netflix on May 1. Watch the official trailer above.
About the film, via Netflix press release, “When tragedy struck her family in the midst of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn’t know what to do with the anger she felt about America’s broken health care system. Cori Bush was drawn into the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer and die from the environmental effects of the coal industry. At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, Knock Down the House follows these four women as they decide to fight back despite having no political experience, setting themselves on a grassroots journey that will change their lives and their country forever.”
Knock Down the House “premiered to a rapturous standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival and won the audience award in its category.” It was also the winner of the Festival Favorite Award, “selected by audience votes from the 121 features screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.”
Lead image via Rachel Lears’ crowdfunding campaign to make the film.