“Knock Down The House”

I watch a lot of Netflix. A lot a lot. I’ve watched every single rom-com they’ve produced, and I also obsess over their true crime shows. If there’s one person you should trust to recommend you Netflix content, it’s me. As the official connoisseur of Netflix originals, I can confidently say that Knock Down The House is one of the best I’ve watched.

Knock Down The House is a feature-length documentary following four women running for Congress in the USA. I’ve always been much more into American politics than those of my own country, England. Both are a total shambles, but American politics is particularly dramatic, a pantomime of outlandish caricatures. The whole campaign process is more or less alien to us Brits. Here, political parties run a couple of TV adverts, maybe put a slogan on a bus, and more or less call it a day. In the States, there are rallies with huge crowds, Twitter broadcasts, and merch. It’s this grand carnival seemingly focused more on personality than policy. I’m so interested in US elections in fact, that I wrote a whole 5,000-word analysis on the disadvantages women face in US electoral processes. Knock Down The House presents a side to US politics that we often don’t see on the news. We get to follow four women who don’t have the campaign money for grand stunts. They are up against opponents who have often run unchallenged, who are almost certain they’re going to win. The only advantage these four women have is a genuine passion for their communities. The unifying factor between the four of them is a desire to fix the wrongs that they see around them. None of them have a political history, they’re just people who are sick of seeing their communities slowly eroded by policies rooted in greed.

The most famous face in the documentary is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Congresswoman for parts of the Bronx and Queens. AOC has shot to fame in the past year, praised by the left and hated by the right. She’s a proud former bartender, who went up against the (previously unchallenged) Congressman Joe Crowley. Crowley had a huge financial advantage but lacked the genuine community presence of AOC. Whilst she was handing out flyers, knocking on doors, and turning up to debates, Crowley was nowhere to be seen. So confident that he would win, he didn’t even consider it a battle worth fighting.

I will confess, I spent most of the documentary teary and sniffling. There’s something moving about watching the pure passion and determination that these 4 women bring to politics. It’s easy to see aspects of yourself reflected in them, they’re not political experts they’re just people who care. It’s pretty clear that I’m not the only one who feels this way, the documentary currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You’re not going to come away with an intricate understanding of the US political system, but that’s not the point. We are surrounded by political bad news, day in day out, and it’s draining. Sometimes you don’t want to be educated, you want to be inspired. There’s a time for filling your head with facts and figures, and there’s a time for feelings. Whether you agree with AOC’s policies or not, you have to respect the way she fought tooth and nail, against all odds, to get what she wanted.

Keep hydrated, take some time in the shade, and remember your sunscreen. Until next time, take care of yourself x

Originally published at https://assortedramblingsblog.wordpress.com on July 4, 2019.

Feminist, mental health advocate, Netflix obsessed.

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