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In the second half of 2018 and into 2019, a fresh, young, and (often) divisive woman simultaneously became a hero, a threat, a meme, and a household name. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, captured the attention of politically attuned Americans when, at age 29, she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. Although outspoken and far left on the political spectrum, AOC has not been written off as the odd extremist, but appears to be considered a substantial threat to Republicans and moderate Democrats alike. Meanwhile, within the conservative evangelical circle I grew up in, people with no connection to her Bronx-Queens, NY district have suddenly displayed a near obsession with disparaging her appearance, intelligence, ethnicity, personal finances, and job as a waitress/bartender. Rarely are the critiques political.
Netflix’s 2019 documentary Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears, turns back the clock to look at the journeys of Ocasio-Cortez, along with three other women as they challenged entrenched Democrats in their Party primaries in an effort to provide better representation for everyday Americans. Although the film focuses on Ocasio-Cortez for location and budgetary reasons, it also chronicles the primary campaigns of Cori Bush, who was running in the St. Louis/Ferguson area of Missouri; Amy Vilela, who was running in Las Vegas, Nevada; and, Paula Jean Swearengin, who was challenging Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Each of these women embraced a grassroots campaign where they lacked funding, name recognition, and most everything else that makes a 21st century politician successful. Yet, they were each also propelled by a deep commitment to the stories of their families and communities.
Film - Characters - Positions - Issues - Candidates
The film is inherently political, and the characters advocate for liberal positions on several issues. The candidates featured take issue with the large corporate campaign donations funding...
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