‘Knock Down The House’ empowers working class

Educational, emotional documentary impresses


Maddie Schutte

Opening with a scene of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting ready before heading into her bartending shift, “Knock Down The House” immediately had me hooked on the journey she was about to take to be elected to Congress.  

“Knock Down The House” highlights the progressive democratic campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Paula Jean Swearengin, and Cori Bush in the 2018 Primary election. The Netflix documentary produces a perfect balance of both the emotional and technical side of each candidate’s campaign, and reveals what truly motivated them to run.

It was exciting and intriguing to see the starting blocks of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, being a supporter of her myself, while also learning about candidates I hadn’t previously heard about. Scenes range from Ocasio-Cortez bartending, to her nerve-wracking moments in the car before debating her opponent Joseph Crowley. These contrasting scenes were incredibly moving, seeing her work her way up from no political experience to Congress against a candidate who had been in office for 14 years.

These everyday women had little to no support or donations to begin with. Despite this, they worked their way up to get their names on the ballot and their voices heard. Any young girl watching this documentary can see how anything is possible with hard work and passion. This movie did a fantastic job of showing what it takes to enter into the political world without a cushion of funding from large corporations.  

The moving stories behind each woman’s campaign had to be one of the best and most important parts of the documentary. Each candidate followed in the film had an emotional story attached to the main policies they were promoting. The idea of making politics about compassion, not money, was so clearly expressed from start to finish.

Above all, watching Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to her name flashing across the screen as the winner for her district is a moment I’ll never forget. The excitement in the room and the pure shock on her face was such a significant part of the documentary. Although I knew the outcome of the race before watching the movie, I was still equally interested and amazed seeing the results come in.

“Knock Down The House” puts the spotlight on the importance of electing working class politicians with real motivations, not just money. The informational yet emotionally vulnerable documentary reveals the resilience and strength of these four fearless women and will inspire more young girls to put up the same fight.


“Knock Down the House”: ★★★★★