“Knock Down the House” and the Quiet Insurgency of Tears

Megan Garber in The Atlantic:

A scene near the end of the new documentary Knock Down the House finds Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, five days after her surprise win in the 2018 primary, visiting the landmark that would soon become her office. Perched on a ledge in front of the U.S. Capitol, the building sprawling and gleaming in the midsummer sun, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th Congressional District talks about an earlier visit to Washington, D.C. “When I was a little girl, my dad wanted to go on a road trip with his buddies,” she says. “I wanted to go so badly. And I begged and I begged and I begged, and he relented. And so it was like four grown men and a 5-year-old girl went on this road trip from New York. And we stopped—we stopped here.”

Her voice catches; a tear trickles down her cheek. She ran for Congress, Knock Down the House has made clear, in part because of her dad’s death. “And it was a really beautiful day,” she continues, “and he leaned down next to me, and he pointed at the Washington Monument, and he pointed at the reflecting pool, and he pointed at everything, and he said”—her voice catches again—“he said, ‘You know, this all belongs to us.’ He said, ‘This is our government. It belongs to us.’” She wipes another tear before it falls off her cheek. “‘So all of this stuff is yours.’”

More here.