And She Could Be Next, a two-part documentary series, chronicles the story of a defiant movement of Latinx women, including Los Angeles-based Maria Elena Durazo and El Paso-based Veronica Escobar, along with other women of color who are transforming American politics from the ground up.
Directed by Peabody Award-winner Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) and Iranian documentary filmmaker Marjan Safinia (Seeds), And She Could Be Next makes its world premiere on PBS and at pov.org Monday, June 29th and Tuesday, June 30th at 9pm .
Filmed from 2018 through 2019, the miniseries follows forward-thinking candidates and organizers across the U.S., asking whether democracy itself can be preserved —and made stronger— by those most marginalized. The episode centers individuals at the heart of the movement behind the New American Majority, including: Stacey Abrams (Georgia), Bushra Amiwala (Skokie, IL), Maria Elena Durazo (Los Angeles, CA), Veronica Escobar (El Paso, TX), Lucy McBath (Atlanta, GA), Rashida Tlaib (Detroit, MI) and Nse Ufot, Executive Director of the New Georgia Project. The documentary also features an entirely women of color creative team. In addition to Lee, Safinia, producer Jyoti Sarda and executive producers like Ava DuVernay, And She Could Be Next credits contributing field directors: Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Amber Fares, Deborah Esquenazi, Ramona Emerson and Anayansi Prado.
“Episode One: Building The Movement” opens with the powerful reminder that “women of color have been the backbone of our communities forever.” An energetic montage of modern American civil rights movements–from women’s suffrage to Stonewall, Black Lives Matter to Standing Rock–brings us to the 2018 midterm elections where a new generation of women of color is ready to take the lead. The documentary goes behind-the-scenes at local rallies, war rooms and church basements, where candidates and organizers embark on the campaign trail. We also witness the unique challenges they face, from well-resourced incumbents to systemic barriers that disproportionately affect black, brown and immigrant communities. As we get to know these women, we see how they do not live “single issue lives” but are each a product of a larger movement–one that is coalition-based, intergenerational and interfaith.
“Episode Two: Claiming Power” takes us to the weeks leading up to election day and focuses on how organizers combat voter suppression in their own communities. At the heart of the episode is a growing multi-ethnic coalition in Georgia, a state with a rich history of civil rights organizing and poised to be a “majority minority” state as early as 2025. In addition to the New Georgia Project, groups like Mijente and Asians for Abrams put boots on the ground to address language barriers, poll purges and “exact match” laws that impact thousands of voters across the state. As results roll in, there is celebration for some and disappointment for others–but for these community organizers, the work does not stop when the polls close. Through it all, these women present a collective vision of political power that is rooted in care, dignity and joy, and remind us that there is an organizer in all of us.
“We are excited to launch And She Could be Next during this moment in American politics, where questions of civic engagement, voter suppression, and the future of our representative democracy are coming to a head,” said Grace Lee, director/producer of And She Could Be Next. “By bringing this documentary to people across the country, we hope to add to the conversation during this election year.”
“And She Could Be Next unapologetically centers race and gender in our political discourse,” said Marjan Safinia, director/producer of And She Could Be Next. “We can’t have an astute conversation about America without this critical lens. So many audiences who feel unseen by our system, will see their power reflected in this project. We cannot underestimate the power of being seen.”
And She Could Be Next is part of PBS’ summer “Trailblazers” initiative celebrating the centennial of the women’s vote and illuminating the stories of modern women who continue to make their voices heard to bring about change. The docuseries is an official selection of the upcoming We Are One: A Global Film Festival.
“In this time, we need stories of hope and of communities coming together across this country to overcome adversity,” said Justine Nagan, one of the executive producers of POV. “During COVID-19, women of color have disproportionately served on the front lines of the crisis. And She Could Be Next reminds us of their power when they’re on the front lines of political and social change as well.”