Knock Down the House


In the run up to the 2018 U.S. midterms, four political newcomers challenge their Democratic incumbents in the primary elections that lead ultimately to a seat in Congress. Fearless and determined, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela introduce their grassroots platforms to the communities in which they are deeply ingrained. The bartender, environmental activist, pastor, and business leader are well acquainted with the throes of everyday working-class Americans. Tender testimonies from candidate to camera form vibrant profiles of the people running and balance the pulsing thrill of campaign excursions. As Ocasio-Cortez’s success predates this story, the film naturally focuses on her imminent victory, with the intersecting ancillary stories depicting the greater political movement. Whether the candidates win or lose, the congressional campaigns featured in Knock Down the House are an inspiring rallying call for new voices to upend the status quo.  KR

Filmmaker Q&A following screening


Rachel Lears


Sarah Olson, Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick


Robin Blotnick


Rachel Lears

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

86 minutes