In 2018, Candidates Came to Knock Down the House
Knock Down the House is one of the poignant and triumphant films ever made.
Imagine if a monk in a monastery in India in 1974 had said to a fellow monk, “I’m going to follow around this Steve Jobs kid with a video camera. He has been saying some crazy stuff and I want to record it.” Well, that is the type of luck that filmmakers Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick experienced in this film.
Not Following the Money
Lears and Blotnick decided to follow Congressional candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, candidates who were not taking corporate nor lobbyists’ money. They found an African-American nurse named Cori Bush, a grieving mother from Las Vegas named Amy Vilela, a West Virginian coal-miners’ daughter named Jean Swearengin, and a bartender from the Bronx named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Watch the Knock Down the House Trailer
Without one of these four fierce women actually winning there would be no movie. But we are the real winners because we get to watch Representative Ocasio-Cortez awkwardly shuffle around her micro-kitchen with her boyfriend, sling buckets of ice at her bartending job, and campaign door-to-door without the slightest idea what to say. And then when she suddenly emergees from 35% behind in the polls to win it is a tremendous triumph of the will.
The film was originally financed by a Kickstarter campaign and with those funds, the filmmakers shot more than 280 hours of footage while following these four brave and charismatic women around the country on their campaigns.
Knock Down the House documents the authentic change occurring from the white-male hegemony to a more inclusive, just, fair and compassionate society.
Watch the Award-Winning Film
The only really choice is whether to watch it now (on Netflix and in select theaters) or when it starts sweeping up even more awards, after winning the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary and Festival Favorite Awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Ira Israel is a psychotherapist and author of How To Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult: A Path to Authenticity: iraisrael.com