‘Surge’ part of ongoing surge in political documentaries

Political Theater, Episode 142

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., left, seen here with fellow Reps. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., and Katie Hill, D-Calif., was among the candidates profiled in the new "Surge" political documentary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., left, seen here with fellow Reps. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., and Katie Hill, D-Calif., was among the candidates profiled in the new "Surge" political documentary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Jason Dick
Posted September 10, 2020 at 10:53am

If you ran for Congress in 2018, there was a pretty good chance you are part of a political documentary.

First came “Knock Down the House,” from Netflix, which featured a (then) little known candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Then came “And She Could Be Next” on PBS’ POV that followed minority female candidates, including Rashida Tlaib, Veronica Escobar and Lucy McBath. Now comes “Surge,” on Showtime, which follows women who ran against veteran Republican incumbents.

CQ Roll Call political reporters Bridget Bowman and Kate Ackley spoke to Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood, a star of “Surge,” and filmmakers Wendy Sachs and Hannah Rosenzweig about their new movie.

On the latest Political Theater podcast, we talk about how weird it was to see people campaigning in the pre-COVID era (feels like a million years ago), the emotional toll of campaigning, how “Surge” fits into the growing library of political documentary films and what other kind of campaign stories are ripe for the telling: Calling all budding filmmakers! We’re available for (virtual) lunch.