In this time of immense isolation, uncovered disparities, and lost hope, revisiting the Netflix original documentary Knock Down the House, is a must. This film, directed by Rachel Lear, follows the stories of four ordinary women on their extraordinary grassroots campaigns to become members of the United States Congress. While it obviously has political ties, it is about much more than that, focusing on representation for all, the importance of hard work, and, most importantly, hope for a better future.
The women in this story come from different backgrounds, but they all have the same goal: to better the systems that have let them down. Amy Viela, the candidate for Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District, lost her daughter because of America’s profit-driven healthcare system. Cori Bush, the nominee for Missouri’s First Congressional District, is a nurse who witnessed the failures of Missouri’s elected officials first hand while treating patients on the streets of Ferguson. Paula Jean Swearengin, the 2020 nominee for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, has seen her family and friends die too many times from the environmental impacts of the coal industry that plagues her state. Lastly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, who, after working double shifts to make ends meet, became the youngest woman to ever serve in the United States Congress.
Without corporate money or political experience, these women decided to prove their strength and stand up for what they believe in. While there was only one win, it being a quite shocking political upset in recent history, this story provides hope for all people who feel like their voices aren’t heard. With that being said, next time you feel hopeless, alone, or in need of some major girl power, this documentary will do the trick!