If you've been following along, which I'm sure you have, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came in swinging as a political powerhouse after pulling off a major upset in the Democratic primaries against incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley for New York's 14th District. From there, she won her seat in the 116th Congress, and hasn't slowed down since. Next up? A documentary featuring her on Netflix, and it's coming sooner than you can say "AOC." Knock Down The House finally has an official release date, and I'm so hyped, you guys.
Per The Hill, Netflix is set to drop the documentary, Knock Down the House, on May 1, 2019. The documentary, which first premiered at this year's Sundance Festival, follows four progressive female candidates during the midterm elections — Ocasio-Cortez being one of them. According to a Netflix press release from February, joining Ocasio-Cortez is Amy Vilela, who ran for Nevada's 4th District but lost her primary; Cori Bush, who ran for Missouri's 1st District but wasn't able to run away with the primary; and Paula Jean Swearengin, who ran for a West Virginia Senate seat, but also lost her primary.
Knock Down the House is directed by Rachel Lears and produced by Lears, Robin Blotnick, and Sarah Olson, and took home the Festival Favorite Award at Sundance. The film was originally funded with the help of a campaign on Kickstarter — where it managed to raise $28,111 — with the goal to show four women who had never been in the political landscape before but whose circumstances had propelled them into it, according to the documentary's Kickstarter page. Ocasio-Cortez lost her father and to help keep her family home she worked double shifts in restaurants. Bush was a nurse, community leader, and an activist following the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015. Vilela, a businesswoman, lost her daughter to a preventable medical condition and was pushed into politics by anger over the state of America's healthcare system. And finally, Swearengin, a coal miner's daughter and granddaughter, was prompted to run after living amidst the repercussions of West Virginia's dwindling coal industry.
Following Sundance, Netflix announced in February 2019 that they had purchased the distribution rights to the documentary. In the press release announcing the purchase, Lears, said she's "thrilled to be partnering with Netflix" because with their help Knock Down the House has the potential to reach a larger audience. She said,
We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on the release of Knock Down the House. This platform will allow us to reach huge audiences worldwide, including viewers who may not usually watch independent documentaries. We’re also very excited to be working with Netflix on a campaign to spark wider cultural conversations about our democracy and how it can continue to evolve.
Lears' joy over partnering with Netflix was a mutual one. Lisa Mishimura, vice president of original documentaries for Netflix, complimented Lears and Blotnick on Knock Down the House and their ability to draw viewers into the story and follow along "as four women find their voice, their power and their purpose, allowing all of us to witness the promise of true democracy in action," according to the press release.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to be one of those viewers. Consider May 1 marked on the calendar.