Not only did Knock Down the House win the coveted Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at Sundance this year, but it also just sold to Netflix for the exhilarating amount of $10m, proving once more that the documentary film world is unquestionably living in the industry version of the wild, wild west.
The film is executive produced by Stephanie Soechtig and Kristine Lazure (the directing and producing team behind The Devil We Know, Fed Up and Under The Gun) and directed by Rachel Lears, whose first feature, The Hand That Feeds (about undocumented immigrant workers organizing at an NYC deli) was nominated for an Emmy Award. Knock Down the House is definitely a title we are pursuing, no matter what our political persuasion might be.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young, bold Puerto Rican bartender from the Bronx, had to work double shifts to save her family’s home from foreclosure. She knows many of her neighbors are also hard-pressed to make a living. In order to bring representation to one of the most marginalized constituencies in America, Alexandria runs for office.
This film follows four women—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin—who join a movement of insurgent candidates to topple incumbents in an electric primary race for Congress. At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, these four women—all political outsiders—unite to do what many consider impossible. Their efforts result in a legendary upset.
This seamlessly edited and heart-wrenching character story captures these four women’s unlikely journey to inspire Americans to get fired up about the new faces of politics. Director Rachel Lears gives viewers intimate and unprecedented access to the first days of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, revealing the candidate’s fierce fight to be elected the country’s youngest member of Congress.
– Sundance Institute