‘Knock Down the House’ | Netflix Documentary Review

April 29, 2019 (Last updated: last month)
Daniel Hart 1
Netflix, TV, TV Reviews


Knock Down the House showcases the mountains grassroots politicians were up against in the 2018 U.S Congressional Election.

It’s strange. I’ve always been drawn towards American politics purely because from an entertainment perspective they do it better. It doesn’t necessarily mean the mechanics of the system are fairer, or better suited for the people, but it does have a way of amassing plenty of drama globally. Knock Down the House, an American Netflix political documentary, is not about what we see on TV, it’s about the grassroots politics; people who want to serve Congress, but not for their self-righteousness, but because they are tired of zero changes.

Knock Down the House is about taking on those who have warmed the seats for too long in Congress. Before I watched Rachel Lear’s documentary, I was not aware that some political observers recognize that there are Establishment Democrats and Grassroots Democrats. The Netflix documentary frames the feature in a way that portrays some Democratic Congressmen as opportunistic for their self-worth, rather than trying to take action for the people. The progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the main face of Knock Down the House, giving the audience the view that it’s not about which side of the political spectrum you sit on, it’s about doing what’s right for the people. You may be aware of the striking Alexandria; she’s smart, sharp and witty.

Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearingen, and Amy Vilela are also represented in Knock Down the House as it looks at their involvement with various political campaigns during the 2018 U.S. congressional election. What’s demoralizing is that the establishment is set-up for grassroots politicians to fail. The aggressive lobbying, funding, and privilege to be associated with the top politician give you a systematic advantage. It’s a volatile time for the voting system in politics at the moment, not just in America, but globally, as the question of transparency is continuously raised. Knock Down the House offers a sliver of hope, as you will know with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ever-present in the feature, but you sense that the progressives smell blood in this Netflix documentary – political reform is desired. The old political system is flawed, with traditionalists holding on to it in fear of change.

Knock Down the House shows the pressure that is placed on these campaigns, presenting the highs and lows of facing a political mountain. It’s not about success or failure, but more the process one would have to go through to the campaign for Congress. The insight is welcomed, and I’d encourage voters who prefer to tick the usual box on their ballot paper to watch this documentary, to understand what is truly happening in their political landscape. A politician that is heavily backed by corporations cannot truly have your back. That’s where politics has fallen through.

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