March 14, 2021

By Tayler Shaw, Staff Writer

The Berkeley City College Women’s Leadership Club hosted a Zoom screening of the documentary, “Knock Down the House” on March 11th in honor of Women’s History Month. 

The film revolves around the 2018 congressional primary campaigns of progressive democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia.. The Justice Democrats and the Brand New Congress are endorsed by these women who ran in that year’s midterm elections.

While “Knock Down the House” centered more on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her political views in New York, it  provided campaign insights on all of the four women being featured.  It also touched on Yemen’s travel ban in New York and the chaos that ensued with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Each of these women seemed to have their own perspectives of running a campaign

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative for New York’s 14th District, during her 2018 congressional campaign. Image from Knock Down The House (2019), a Netflix documentary.

The documentary ensued with power and showed how women can take on anything. It  correlated with the impact message of Women’s History Month. By expressing these four women’s strengths and abilities to thrive and do anything,”Knock Down the House” provides Women’s History Month a much needed boost. It was good to see female empowerment and the diverse nature presented in this film.

The thing that stood out the most was hearing Cori Bush address that the image about women of color are so scrutinized which is absolutely agreeable. The scrutiny of it all she chooses to overlook, Bush wants people in her district to feel that they are being represented and she plans to make that happen. The district has opened an eye on needed change that could be done themselves, Bush wants to push change into action and hopes to boost her district even more. Bush doesn’t want promises, hopes for action. 

 That part of the film truly stuck out due to how much power it had behind it, to see a woman of color run for a big campaign. Alongside other women trying to make a specific change for their community, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wanted to end this dismissal of absent leadership and sees herself as the only one running the Congress. The last vote in the running for Congressman was ranked disastrous in Cortez’s eyes, it was evident that Cortez was the only one running for Congress in that questions forum. 

This film just gives even more power to women, it portrays a much stronger side, it shows that a woman can make a big impact even if it’s in her own hometown or the world as a whole. Women are sometimes seen as weak or women being not capable enough, this film proves that differently. Although the documentary wasn’t shown fully, it’s obvious that these women didn’t give up the fight of their political views, pushing aside the unsettling scrutiny. Any woman of any race is capable to make change or take action.

“Knock Down the House”’ is a must see movie that is accessible on Netflix and YouTube. This is going to be a recurring event so in honor of Women’s History Month, Berkeley City College will be hosting the rest of the documentary along with a Kahoot trivia game on Thursday, March 18th.

You can find the zoom links about these events and information on Berkeley City College’s Instagram. I hope that this documentary will turn more heads and grasp even more attention, and hope it sparks a political interest for our women who want to possibly run a campaign or become a president-elect in the future.