If you don’t have water-proof mascara on, might I recommend not watching Netflix’s first trailer for its new documentary Knock Down the House. The emotional film follows now-congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (ever heard of her?) as well as Nevada’s Amy Vilela, Missouri’s Cori Bush, and West Virginia’s Paula Jean Swearengin as they all prepare for the 2018 midterm elections in their respective states. The four have a lot in common: They’re all women, all progressive, and all decided to take on the risk of challenging established Democrats in their elections.
It’s not a spoiler to tell you that only one of these women ended up winning her primary. (Again, have you heard of AOC?) But it’s the way Knock Down the House weaves together all of their stories that gives the audience a much-needed feeling of hope about American politics. The documentary proves that progressive politics can work, and that it is possible to have representatives who look and sound like the very constituents they’re representing, even if the change is slow and incremental. As Ocasio-Cortez is heard saying in the trailer, “For one of us to make it through, 100 of us have to try.”
It was reported that the documentary, directed by Rachel Lears, sold to Netflix for $10 million, making it the biggest documentary sale ever from a film festival. (Knock Down the House showed at a number of festivals, including Sundance, where it received the Festival Favorite Award.)
Knock Down the House will premiere on Netflix on May 1. But until then, let’s all remove our eye makeup and watch the trailer on repeat.
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