Log In   ·   Become A Member

Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner, "Knock Down The House," To Screen At Pierson High School

Sydney A. Braat

The film follows the story of four working-class women, who were part of the wave of female candidates running groundbreaking campaigns for Congress in 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center's Present Tense series will offer a special sneak preview screening of Knock Down the House will take place on Saturday, April 27 at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor. Knock Down the House was the winner of the Audience Award for best U.S. Documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival and is one of the most highly anticipated non-fiction films of 2019.

The film follows the story of four working-class women, who were part of the wave of female candidates running groundbreaking campaigns for Congress in 2018. One of them, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a bartender from the Bronx, would become one of the most outspoken and active members of the new Congress; as well as a media superstar. These women had no previous political experience, limited funds (they refused corporate PAC donations) or establishment support.

"Knock Down the House is a film about hope that challenges the narratives that create cynicism and despair. The film is ultimately about power and how to build it in yourself and in the world, and what it takes to make the politically impossible possible. I want viewers to think about what it would mean for our democracy to have more courageous working people with integrity representing us in government, running on bold agendas that would create a more just and equitable country," said the film's director Rachel Lears.

In the tradition of great "campaign documentaries" such as Primary (directed by Robert Drew, 1960) and The War Room (D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, 1993), filmmaker Rachel Lears follows the underdog candidates and their grass roots political adventures. Viewers of the film get to know Ocasio-Cortez well throughout the film. Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts to save her family home from foreclosure during the financial crisis. In addition, Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner's daughter from West Virginia, witnessed firsthand how pollutants have given her neighbors cancer. Cori Bush is a St. Louis nurse and an ordained pastor whose activism was inspired by the call for police reform. Lastly, Amy Vilela, is a Las Vegas mother who lost her 22-year-old daughter to a brain clot when a hospital turned the girl away because she didn't have health insurance.

"Any way you slice it, and even if you're not entirely in agreement with the various subjects' positions on Medicare for all or the Green New Deal, this film is a winner by a landslide. It helps that all four women featured here, from four very different parts of the country and yet united by remarkably consistent concerns and issues, have great stories to tell and are intensely charismatic," wrote film critic Leslie Felperin.

Knock Down the House was partially financed through a Kickstarter campaign and will be released on Netflix and in selected theaters on May 1st.

Lears is a director, writer, producer and cinematographer based in Beacon, NY. She is a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Culture and Media from New York University. Her documentary The Hand That Feeds (co-directed with Robin Blotnicka in 2014), about undocumented immigrant workers organizing to fight abusive conditions at a NY restaurant chain, won Audience Awards at Full Frame and DOC NYC.

The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center's Present Tense series is an adventurous mix of new releases, classics, documentaries and rarely screened subversive comedies which speak in a variety of ways and styles to our present political and cultural time. Among the movies screened were First Reformed, which gained legendary writer/director Paul Schrader his first Oscar nomination (for Original Screenplay); Joe Dante's political satire The Second Civil War, Alan Arkin's black comedy Little Murders and Gabriel Over the White House, a wonderfully strange pre code MGM film, directed by Gregory LaCava and partly financed by William Randolph Hearst. Guest speakers have included Paul Schrader, Joe Dante, Jules Feiffer, Sam Pollard and Robert Schenkkan.

Tickets are $15.

Pierson High School Auditorium is located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor. For more information and reservations, go to www.sagharborcinema.org.

Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping. https://www.sosydneyny.com/ sydneybraat

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Calissa is Mykonos in the Hamptons.
Our menu focuses on seafood and Greek dishes such as salt baked fish, seafood pasta and Mediterranean mezze. Our wine list has been awarded The Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and boasts the largest selection of rosé in the Hamptons. The name Calissa is derived from the brightest constellation in the summer sky.Our sister restaurants in New York are Amali and Bar Marseille, opening 2020 in the Rockaways. Calissa offers private dining spaces for groups from 10 to 300 people. To plan your next wedding, corporate event or gathering, please email events@calissahamptons.com. 1020 MONTAUK HIGHWAY, WATER MILL

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.

Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez.
Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez after she experienced learning English as a second language upon relocating to New York.