Things That Matter

Love Her Or Hate Her, Netflix’s ‘Knock Down The House’ Gives An Electrifying Account Of AOC’s Political Career From Humble Beginning To Victorious Win

Knock Down the House / Netflix

Before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the media obsession of the year, she was an unknown bartender trying to get 10,000 petition signatures to become a candidate for New York’s 14th Congressional District primary race run. AOC was one of many women who answered the call to run after Trump was elected in 2016.

Documentarian Rachel Lears followed four of those progressive women who challenged incumbent Democrats and Republicans for their Congressional seats–creating a New Congress. “Knock Down the House” is the emotional foil to every other depressing political documentary out there. It will inform, inspire and …yes, it will make you cry.

From the opening scenes of AOC getting ready for a political appearance, the undertone is pure feminism.

CREDIT: Netflix

AOC talks about how simple it is for men to run for office. They have two outfit choices: sleeves rolled up or not? Already, on appearances, it’s more work for women.

Witnessing AOC in the early days, going up against all odds, will make you weep.

CREDIT: @_americaG / Twitter

It feels good being on the other side knowing that all those knocked doors, late nights counting petition signatures, and passing out flyers are worth it for you, AOC. She made it for us.

Many folks thought that her win would lose power for the 14th district.

CREDIT: Netflix

Incumbent Crowley was already vying to become Speaker of the House, and had so much seniority, Ocasio had to convince folks her win wouldn’t be a loss.

While AOC was the only successful candidate in the documentary, the work isn’t over for the other women.

CREDIT: @AllieGoardHRC / Twitter

Amy Vilela, whose 22-year-old daughter was denied medical care for lack of insurance and died in the hospital, is still speaking out for healthcare for all. Paula Jean Swearengin is running for West Virginia office once again in 2020.

Cori Bush is running for Missouri’s 1st congressional district again in 2020.

CREDIT: Netflix

Bush is a registered nurse, ordained minister, and mother of two teenagers. Bush was PAC Brand New Congress’s first candidate to support and they’re continuing their support for 2020.

We get to see a young AOC wearing sanitary gloves working her dang job.

CREDIT: Netflix

No doubt that millions of Americans are happy that AOC stayed in the race. She has used her place in Congress to call attention to the inequality that is hindering the growth of people in this nation.

AOC makes a life lesson out of people underestimating her.

CREDIT: Netflix

People think of waitressing and bartending as not a ‘real job,’ but AOC makes the point that it’s trained her to be able to stand on her feet 18 hours a day, take heat, and talk to people.

We also get to see AOC dogwalk Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth most powerful Democrat in Congress.

CREDIT: Netflix

Nobody expected AOC to win. Crowley had been elected since 1999 with no contender. For the first time in 14 years, he had a contender and she won.

Crowley underestimated AOC so much, he sent a representative to give his statements at the only town debate.

CREDIT: Netflix

We got to see stellar footage of AOC shutting it down–dragging Crowley’s vote for the Iraq war, for his position on moving the Israeli embassy to Palestine territory, and for being an absent elected official.

We also got to see AOC passing out flyers with her niece.

CREDIT: Netflix

Folks were walking by telling her niece that she was next, she’d be a Congresswoman one day. This is one of the most touching moments in the documentary. It is so important to keep the younger generation motivated and this is one of those moments that shows the hope for an inclusive future.

The most iconic moment was this:

CREDIT: Netflix

AOC trying to energetically take up space before a local news debate with Joe Crowley. May we all seek to take up space like AOC. We are in a time when we need to be purposeful in taking up space and searching out the space we need to be taking up.

Fans want to mandate every young girl to watch this film.

CREDIT: @Poppy_Elizabeth / Twitter

She did the dang thing. She went up against a white guy in power and actually unseated him without taking a single corporate dollar. Her path to Congress is empowering and important for so many young girls and boys of color.

We got some very cute home videos of AOC cuando era niña.

CREDIT: Netflix

We saw her playing piano in church and seeing her as the only brown girl in her choir. We saw her whole extended family chip in to get them into the burbs.

We got some tender moments reminiscing about AOC’s father, who passed several years ago.

CREDIT: Netflix

She says that her father knew her soul better than anyone else on this planet. When he passed, while she was in college, it turned her life upside down.

It was this event that forced her to quit her non-profit job and work to pay her student loan debt and avoid foreclosing on their family home.

CREDIT: @EmpireofHerrera / Twitter

We can’t imagine the weight of that stress on top of the stress of campaigning (which by the way, is not a paying job) for her community. However, this story is one that is growing in commonality in our community. Young adults of color having to foot bills and hold down jobs to make sure that their families can stay in their homes. This is why we need more people like AOC fighting for families in Congress.

Five days after she was elected, we see her weeping on the steps of the Capitol.

CREDIT: Netflix

She tells us the story of how she elbowed her way into her dad’s road trip with the guys. The ended up at the Capitol and he told her that all of this belongs to us.

The documentary will literally rip the tears from your soul.

CREDIT: @gabeajs / Twitter

We watch AOC in disbelief as she learns she won her campaign. No tears. The only tears we get from AOC are her reflecting on her father’s last words to her: “Make me proud.”

“Knock Down the House” might be inspiring the next wave of women to run for office.

CREDIT: @leveecranes / Twitter

There’s no sugarcoating. These are the challenges faced by women who run for office. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Seeing AOC’s reaction to her win is worth every minute of the emotional journey in “Knock Down the House.”

CREDIT: @voxdotcom / Twitter

Have you seen “Knock Down the House” yet? Comment below with your thoughts!

READ: From College To Congress, Here’s What We Know About AOC’s Longtime Boyfriend

Netflix Finally Revealed Who Will Be Playing Selena’s Father And Brother In Their Upcoming Series

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Netflix Finally Revealed Who Will Be Playing Selena’s Father And Brother In Their Upcoming Series

We’ve been there every step of the way. From the announcement late last year that Netflix and the Quintanilla’s would be teaming up to bring us the official coming-of-age story of Selena to the audition process of the series, to the casting of Selena herself. It’s been thrilling just to experience the process because that means we’re that much closer to filming the actual show. Now we have two more additions to the series. 

Actors Ricardo Chavira and Gabriel Chavarria will be playing the roles of Abraham senior and Abraham Jr. — Selena’s father and brother. 

Credit: @DEADLINE / Twitter

Deadline is reporting that actors Ricardo Chavira and Gabriel Chavarria have been cast in the “Selena: The Series” — which is also been referred to as “the official story of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla.” If you’re wondering why Netflix isn’t announcing any of the actors that are being cast in the project, it’s because they are keeping hush about it entirely, which we find a little strange.

Why won’t Netflix officially announce this news, considering it is their project? We’re going to assume that they don’t want to commit to any of these actors. For example, what if the actors don’t reflect what the Quintanillas want? They can change them at any point, but the thing is, that could happen regardless if Netflix made it official or not. It’s all a little bizarre. It’s also quite noticeable that the actors aren’t saying a thing about it on social media either. 

You may remember Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis in “Desperate Housewives.”

Credit: ricardoachavira / Instagram

Yes, he played Eva Longoria’s husband! He’s also had a slew of roles since including on “Burn Notice,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” and “Jane the Virgen.” 

Chavira, who tweets regularly, has yet to comment on his new role. There’s also no information about the series on Imdb.com, at least not about the actors. 

Gabriel Chavarria will play Selena’s brother. Most recently he starred in the USA Network/Syfy series “The Purge.”

Credit: gabeiswitit / Instagram

Chavarria could also be seen in “East Los High” as Jacob Aguilar, the film “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and as Danny in the movie “Lowriders.” He’s also staying mum on the topic as well. 

Last month, it was also announced that Christian Serratos from “The Walking Dead” was cast in the title role of Selena.

Credit: christianserratos / Instagram

Netflix, the Quintanillas, and Serratos, of course, is you guessed it, remaining tight-lipped about the topic. So all of this information is based on unnamed sources. 

The only “official” word about this project came last year from Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla.

Credit: suzettesyld / Instagram

Suzette released the following statement last year: “Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel a great responsibility to do justice to her memory. With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives. We are excited to partner with Campanario and Netflix to give fans a never-before-seen glimpse at our story and highlight why Selena will remain a legend for generations to come.” 

As far as Netflix is concerned, all we have is this trailer. *Sigh*.

There’s no information as to when the series will be released but it probably won’t be anytime soon if we’re getting information released this late in the game. However, we’re going to throw out another theory, so bear with us. According to E! News, the series is set to begin shooting next month in Mexico. We’re thinking this marketing strategy is building up in this manner because of Telemundo’s release of “El Secreto de Selena.” 

The family is very much against that series, so what a better way to distract from that show — which continues to air on Sundays — than to release more information at a slow pace and keep the conversation going on this Netflix series. Remember, we still haven’t heard who will be cast in the role of Selena’s mom or Selena’s sister. We’re certain as that information is known the big reveal or some huge announcement will happen thereafter. Maybe around the holidays. And, yes, we’ve been thinking about this a lot. But mark our words: this is all a big marketing ploy and we’re loving every second of it. 

READ: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled

A New Documentary Is Showing An Untold And Heartbreaking Side Of The Undocumented Life In The US

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A New Documentary Is Showing An Untold And Heartbreaking Side Of The Undocumented Life In The US

imleavingnowdoc / Instagram

The recent immigration debate in the U.S. has largely centered around the forced separation of families at the southern border and indefinite detentions. However, “Ya Me Voy,” a documentary by Mu Media, is shining light on the internal immigration debate. The story centers on a man living undocumented in the U.S. and his decision to stay in the U.S. or leave and rejoin his family. However, unexpected love and troubles at home in Mexico play a major role in his decision.

“I’m Leaving Now (Ya Me Voy)” is a touching look at the personal immigration debate many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

Felipe, an undocumented immigrant living in New York, has spent years living away from his family in Mexico. His mission was to find work and send money home regularly to help his family with the ultimate goal to move back to be with his wife and kids.

The documentary starts with Felipe calling his family telling them that he was ready to move back to Mexico and reunite with them.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

After several attempts and changes of mind, Felipe is finally ready to go back home. He had been sending his family money and expects to come home in a better position. It has been 16 years and he has been diligent in sending money back to his family.

However, during a phone call home, he learns that everything he had worked for has fallen apart.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

His family had managed to squander the money he had sent back for them. Not only that, they had gotten themselves into debt. Felipe, who was planning to go home, realizes that it might not be able to go home since the family is now indebted after his 16 years of hard, manual labor in the U.S.

During the documentary, the audience learns that Felipe has fallen in love with a woman in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

The romantic relationship complicates his decision to do home. On one hand, he wants to reunite with his sons and wife more than anything. He misses them terribly and knows that his heart ultimately lies with them. However, his family has spent the money he managed to send them and returning would put him back where he was when he came to the U.S. all those years ago. The new romance offers him solace and comfort in the U.S.

We witness Felipe having tough conversations with his new life in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

Felipe is trying to determine if he is still able to move back to a family he does not know. It has been so long since he left Mexico that he is essentially a stranger to his children. His wife has been without him for 16 years and he has set unexpected roots in a place that was supposed to be temporary. At one point, you see him telling a vendor that he was preparing to leave and she jokes that she’ll believe it when he is no longer here.

Ultimately, he is forced to make a decision as to whether he is going to stay in the U.S. or be with a family he left years ago.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

His tale is one that so many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. experience. They leave friends and family behind in an attempt to better the lives of those they are leaving behind. Many will never see their family again and have to miss major moments, like funerals, to sacrifice it all to help their family.

Watch the full trailer below.

READ: Say Their Names: The People Who Have Died In US Immigration Custody In 2019