Netflix’s “Knock Down the House” Is an Emotional Look at AOC’s Passion


Why are people so obsessed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Her haters — both Republican and Democrats — will say who does this loud girl think she is, coming to D.C. with her extreme ideas, with no experience? Her fans on the left will agree that is the reason why they’re rooting for her. So who does Rep. Ocasio-Cortez think she is? In the new Netflix doc Knock Down The House, we finally understand how and why this Bronx native came to a life of politics from complete obscurity.

The film follows four liberal first-time candidates: Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearingen, Amy Vilela, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. While the other women ran campaigns in Nevada, St. Louis, and West Virginia, the only woman to win was Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

“For one of us to make it through, 100 of us have to try,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says in the doc, days before her historic victory.

While we know how the movie will end, seeing each step of how she got to that victorious spot is what makes this movie so compelling.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has never been one to show inauthenticity, but in this doc, audiences get to see the person before she became a congresswoman. We see her in home videos as a little girl pretending to be a newswoman, we see her playing the piano in a recital, and being around her family. That is probably the most touching aspect of this documentary, seeing her with her mom, brother, nieces, and nephews. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t run because it was some life goal; she did it because she had to, her life, her family’s lives, the lives of her community depend on it, and she truly understands that pressure.

Her mother mentions that her daughter always had this spark of “free will” and it is that confidence that her family, mainly her father, instilled in her. The death of her dad plays a huge part in her drive to persevere regardless of the odds, and those odds are so incredibly hard.

She faces scrutiny in a way a man never does. She is judged on her looks, her background, her voice, her education, her experience, he age, every single thing. A white man is judged based on what? Nothing.

There’s a moment in the film where she is coaching herself before a debate against her opponent Democrat Joe Crowley. She understands she will be ripped apart based on those scrutinizations, and yet she ventures forward.

“I am experienced enough to do this. I am knowledgeable enough to do this. I am prepared enough to do this. I am mature enough to do this. I am brave enough to do this,” she says to herself.

This film explains where her frustration and passion comes from, why she is the voice of a community that is larger than the Bronx and Queens. We get why she is debating issues left and right on Capitol Hill, why white men are intimidated by her, and why she rose to the top. The doc shows you exactly why Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is crucial to our democracy and why her fight is our fight.

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