Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia
AFI Docs 2020
A behind-the-scenes look at the campaigns of six women of color political candidates in 2018.
The most recent midterm election season saw an unprecedented number of women of color seeking political office. Some faced political opposition from the other side, while others fought to claim a place at the table, competing against entrenchment in their own party. Over the course of two episodes, filmmakers Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia weave together the stories of six of these progressive candidates as they seek to enact change and bring true inclusion into the political process. Ranging from the high-profile campaigns of Stacey Abrams in Georgia to become the first black female governor and Rashida Tlaib’s run for the House of Representatives, representing Michigan, to more local level races such as Bushra Amiwala’s attempt to win a seat on a County Board of Commissioners in Chicago, the series chronicles the on-the-ground organizing needed to realize meaningful change. Beyond seeking office, these candidates empower historically disenfranchised and under-represented communities of race and/or faith – Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, South Asian, Muslim – to become involved in the political process, register to vote, and claim their own voices. On the flip side, despite the optimism on display, this engaging doc also makes clear the resistance that exists to realizing an inclusive, representative democracy in the US, highlighting insidious racism, sexism, and xenophobia, as well as the concerted rise of reactionary voting restriction efforts.