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Director: Rachel Lears

Producer: Sarah Olson, Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick

Editor: Robin Blotnick

Cinamatographer: Rachel Lears




Knock Down the House

Wisconsin Premiere • documentary • USA • 2019 • DCP • 86 MIN

section: American Visions

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's spectacular rise from working class bartender to national figure is captured as it happens in this exhilarating documentary. We meet Ocasio-Cortez at the dawn of her grassroots primary campaign, before she became "AOC;" knocking on doors between double shifts, psyching herself up for debates, and memorably dunking on her opponent's lame campaign materials. With drive, intelligence, and charisma to spare, she rockets from rookie underdog to force to be reckoned with—here is the origin story of a political dynamo. Director Rachel Lears complements Ocasio-Cortez's campaign with those of three other progressive women running Democratic primary challenges across the country—Paula Jean Swearingen in West Virginia coal country, Cori Bush in St. Louis, and Amy Vilela in Nevada—a useful cross-section that illustrates how similar messages play in different regions. Despite their passion and ideals, all four face long odds, but in the words of Ocasio-Cortez, "In order for one to get through, 100 of us have to try."Pure, fist-pumping inspiration, Knock Down the House is "a tribute to the energy of every woman who pledged that in 2018 they would make a difference" (Variety). US Documentary Audience Award, 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)

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