'Knock Down the House' premieres at SXSW

The documentary 'Knock Down the House,' directed and written by Rachel Lears, follows four first time female candidates from across the U.S. on a roller-coaster journey of running for office.

Sunday, the documentary premiered at South by South West Festival. 

"We were looking for people who had really compelling personal stories that were motivating them to do what they were doing. Hardship loss grief any type of personal experience which is what they drew upon to have the courage to challenge political machines," says Lears.  

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained the importance of the film. 

"What I hope people gather is that everyday people can run for office and should run for office and that's what we need to do.  I hope that in watching this see that it's very hard very difficult but I hope that they see the fruits of it," says Ocasio-Cortez. 

She says their stories of empowerment will challenge the cynicism that keeps many people from engaging in politics. "I hope that people can get the courage and the bravery to start thinking maybe they can throw their hat in the ring in 2020," says Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez says the film asks what it really takes to break down the barriers of access to the halls of power. "It not just about it's worth it if you win but the actual organizing you do when you run for office regardless of the outcome is worthwhile," says Ocasio-Cortez.

Cori Bush, a Saint Louis nurse, was drawn into the streets after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Last year, she ran for a seat on the U.S. House, representing Missouri. "Women have to be heard black women brown women LGBT you know our disabled community. It's time to give everybody a seat at the table," says Bush. 

She says the documentary gives everyone a voice. "So it's time for people to list that's why this is important seeing the diversity and what we bring," says Bush. 

For more information on 'Knock Down the House,' click here.

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