On Monday, Netflix released the trailer for their newest original documentary, Knock Down The House, which follows the midterm Congressional campaigns and lives of four of 529 women who ran for Congress in 2018.
These women—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin—have achieved nationwide fame not only because they took part in a revolutionary election cycle, but because they share lives and experiences with the people they campaigned to represent.
The trailer opens on New York Rep. Ocasio-Cortez—now so popular she is widely known as AOC. At the beginning of the primary race, AOC was facing former Rep. Joe Crowley, an established Democrat who hadn’t had a challenger in over a decade. As a 29-year old waitress in the Bronx, AOC knew that she would have to prove herself, and did so with a level of grace and grit that has earned her nationwide respect.
Amy Vilela, a former candidate from Nevada’s 4th district, decided to run for office following her daughter’s untimely death. She put healthcare access at the forefront of her campaign. Cori Bush, a former candidate from Missouri’s 1st district, is a pastor-turned-community activist outside of Ferguson. Prior to losing the primary to established Democrat Rep. Lacy Clay, Bush hoped to be the first Black female congresswoman from Missouri. Paula Jean Swearengin, a former U.S. Senate candidate from West Virginia, is an environmental activist from a family of coal miners.
As the trailer concludes, viewers hear AOC over a phone call with Vilela, saying “For one of us to make it through, a hundred of us have to try.”
At an important time in political history, this film gives viewers an uplifting narrative to bring them into the new election season and also sheds light on the challenges and triumphs women face and achieve in politics.
Knock Down the House originally premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the Audience Award for US Documentaries. The film, directed by Rachel Lears, will premiere on Netflix on May 1.