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MSPIFF // Knock Down The House // Go Back To China


For those in need of a powerful work of cinema, look no further than Rachel Lear's Knock Down The House. This documentary follows the stories of four courageous women who ran (and won) in the midterm elections of 2018. Their names? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Amy Vilela. Cori Bush. Paula Jean Swearengin. Together and as individuals, these women kickstarted a movement to challenge the reigning powers in Congress. The doc goes behind-the-scenes to chart each woman's upbringing, education, personal struggles and eventual rise through the U.S. political environment. As their election campaigns unfold, the women face the opposition with grit, grace and determination, their individual and collective strengths propelling U.S. politics into a new and more progressive age. This groundbreaking film was the recipient of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award.

Rachel Lears earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from NYU, and was named a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow in 2013. Along with Knock Down The House, she is known for The Hand That Feeds (17).

"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." - Hollywood Reporter


Actor, filmmaker and Youtube sensation Anna Akana stars in Emily Ting's hilarious dramedy about wealth, heritage and overdue adulthood. After burning through her trust fund, Sasha Li (Akana) is commanded by her father (Richard Ng) to "go back" to China, where she will be forced to work at her family's toy company. While the order seems like a devastating sentence at first, Sasha gradually takes steps beyond the self-serving life she'd known and grown accustomed to while living large in Los Angeles. Blending coming-of-age themes with family drama, Ting's film sees Sasha reconnect with both her cultural heritage and her family, which includes her half-sister (Lynn Chen) and mother (Kelly Hu). Go Back To China marks Emily Ting's second film, having made her debut with Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong in 2015.

Emily Ting was born in 1980 in Taipei. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of Arts and has been making film since 2001. Alongside her latest film, Go Back To China, she is known for Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (15).


MSPIFF is Minnesota’s largest film event and one of the longest running film festivals in the country. Showcasing the latest international independent documentary and fiction films from around the globe, #MSPIFF offers audiences countless opportunities to engage with visiting filmmakers and stars from around the world.