Reel Women in Film: Knock Down the House

Online Program

May 21, 2020 7:30pm - 8:00pm

Join the Bullock Museum for a livestream discussion about the documentary film Knock Down the House.

Knock Down the House is a documentary that focuses on the story of four women who were among the record number of women who ran for the United States Congress in 2018. Stream the film for free on YouTube and join the Bullock afterwards for a livestream discussion and YouTube live chat Q&A. 

Event Details

In the year 2018, the United States experienced a wellspring of female identifying candidates who became politically motivated and involved within their local communities and on a country-wide level. Knock Down the House keys in on four amongst many women who stood out.

This discussion is part of Reel Women in Film, a film series that highlights the filmic works of women in front of or behind the camera. In its second season, focus will be on ideas of empowerment seen through the lens of fashion and activism. Additionally, we will look at those within the field of filmmaking that are in the periphery, the costume designers. This evening's program is organized in conjunction with our Sister Suffragists exhibition, celebrating the suffrage centennial. The livestream discussion will feature film subjects Amy Vilela and Cori Bush, and guest moderator, Nancy Bocskor, former Director of the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at Texas Woman's University. Prior to the discussion, we encourage you to check out a free stream of the FemBeat short film on Martha P. Cotera.  

Program is FREE to the public and will be available post-livestream on the Bullock Museum YouTube channel.

Educators, to receive CPE credit please email

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Film Credits

Rating: PG
Director | Co-Writer: Rachel Lears
Editor | Co-Writer: Robin Blotnick
Runtime: 96 min.
Genre: Documentary
Release year: 2019

About the Guest Speaker and Moderator

Guest Speakers

Amy Vilela is a businesswoman, military spouse, politician, and healthcare justice activist. Vilela, a Democrat, got involved in politics in 2017 following the death of her 22-year-old daughter, Shalynne, who was denied appropriate care at a local emergency room when she was unable to provide adequate proof of insurance. In 2018, Vilela competed in the Democratic Primary for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, with notable support coming from both progressive organizations as well as organized labor. Amy and her 2018 campaign are featured in the 2019 documentary, Knock Down the House, alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin.

Cori Bush is a single parent, a registered nurse, a pastor, a civil and human rights activist, a community organizer, and candidate for US Congress who was featured in the Sundance Festival award-winning Netflix film, Knock Down the House. Her work crosses cultural, ethnic, gender, and religious lines. Cori emerged as a community leader through her work on the front lines of the Ferguson movement as a protester, as clergy, as a medic, and as a victim of police assault. Her work extends into the areas of poverty, racism, mental health, sexual assault, domestic violence, immigration, and homelessness.Through the adversity - racism, sexism, misogyny, inequality, and corruption, Ms. Bush plans to continue in the bold fight for justice, equality and equity for all.


Nancy Bocskor is the former Director of the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX, where she was launching its programs to promote civic engagement and leadership in public service. Nancy Bocskor teaches citizens in the United States and internationally how to communicate with passion to affect change in their communities. The author of Go Fish:  How to Catch (and Keep) Contributors:  A Practical Guide to Fundraising, Nancy Bocskor is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management where she taught both online and in-class fundraising courses. Nancy is on the board for Running Start, an organization that encourages young women to run for office, an advisor for Veteran's Campaign, a program that encourages Veterans to enter public service, and has recently joined the board of Lone Star Parity in Texas. She served on the board of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale for seven years, where she chaired the school’s Curriculum Committee for five years. 

About the Short Film and Filmmaker

With decades of feminist activism under her belt, 80-year-old Martha P. Cotera reflects on the origins of the Chicana Feminist Movement, La Raza Unida, the trials and errors of second-wave feminism, and the need for today’s feminists to fight for liberation and a higher consciousness in the movement.

Kayla Abuda Galang is a filmmaker living and working in Austin, Texas. Together with her FemBeat co-director, Samantha Skinner, she aims to candidly explore different feminist experiences and the intersections that inform them. Her directorial and editing works have been official selections in South by Southwest, Austin Film Festival, and Florida Film Festival.