Netflix Buys 'Knock Down The House,' A Documentary On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Campaign
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may already be a household name, but she's about to become known on a whole other level. According to Deadline, Netflix recently bought Knock Down the House, a documentary on Ocasio-Cortez and three other candidates who ran against incumbents during the midterm elections. What's more, Deadline now reports that the award-winning film sold for a massive sum.
Per the publication, Netflix bought the documentary, which won Sundance's Festival Favorite Award on Tuesday, for $10 million dollars. According to The Chicago Tribune, the film was originally funded by a kickstarter campaign. The campaign ultimately raised just over $28,000, which topped the $25,000 goal — so if those pledges amount to the funds used for the documentary, it's safe to say it was a good investment.
Out of the four politicians featured in the documentary, Ocasio-Cortez was the only person who won her race. The other politicians featured in the film, all of whom are progressives, are Cori Bush, Amy Vilela, and Paula Jean Swearengin.
Per The Chicago Tribune, Ocasio-Cortez was scheduled to attend a screening of the film at Sundance, but wasn't able to because of the government shutdown. The publication reports that she did call in via a Skype video.
In an interview with the Sundance Institute (as seen above), Rachel Lears, the director of Knock Down the House, said:
I think there's a really strong connection between money in politics and representation in politics. ... When the conventional wisdom is that it takes at least $2 million to run a viable congressional campaign, people who have historically not had access to that kind of money are not going to run. So the film shows the work that it takes to pull off a grassroots campaign, but it also shows the personal work that candidates have to do when they are regular people to transform themselves into someone that can present this fresh vision of leadership.
Lears concluded, "These people are working together all across the country, from places as different as the Bronx and Appalachia and Ferguson and Las Vegas, to change what is politically possible in this country."
Netflix's vice president of original documentaries, Lisa Nishimura, said (via The Wrap) that the documentary represents "a transcendent moment when skilled filmmakers are able to train their lens on a major transformation."
Nishimura continued, “With intimacy and immediacy, Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick, bring viewers to the front lines of a movement, as four women find their voice, their power and their purpose, allowing all of us to witness the promise of true democracy in action.”
According to Newsweek, Ocasio-Cortez received a standing ovation after her Skype appearance at Sundance. In a brief speech to the audience, the publication reports that she said:
I’m just so glad that this moment, for all four of us, was captured and documented — not just for the personal meaning of it, but for really everyday people to see that, yes, this is incredibly challenging, yes, the odds are long, but also yes, that it’s worth it, and each and every single person who submits themselves to run for office is doing a great service to this country, including Amy, Paula and Cori.
Ocasio-Cortez also said at one point, per the publication, “This is my first time seeing [the film] in its final form, [so] I’m still kind of recovering from the tears myself."
Netflix has not yet announced when Knock Down the House will be available for viewers to stream on its platform.