HBO’s Nancy Pelosi Documentary – The Hollywood Reporter

Back in October, when the documentary about Nancy Pelosi appeared from January 6, 2021 — the clip has the most compelling elements including the scene where the then House speaker says she wishes she had could go to jail for punching the then president of the United States — the reaction from the right was predictable. And ordinary.

A frequent chorus around Twitter and other social media claims that it is suspicious that on such an innocuous ordinary day, Nancy Pelosi happened to be followed by a documentary crew. – as if this validates the idea that January 6th is a fake chess operation. There have been skeptical Zapruder-like analyzes of what the footage did or didn’t show.

Pelosi in the house

Key point

Uneven, but full of moments of process and fascinating access.

Get rid of any demonstrative value that the footage has or doesn’t have. Let the Committee of January 6 decide. Or not. Let’s get to the first part of the blabbering plot: Alexandra Pelosi, not even vaguely coincidentally the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, is a solid and impressive documentary filmmaker who just HBO alone has 14 films, most characterized by the director’s intimate approach to political figures. The idea that Alexandra Pelosi, who has been filming her mother for over 20 years, will film Nancy Pelosi on January 6, 2021, is much less suspicious than the idea that she won’t. filmed that day.

Pelosi’s combination of press outreach and family outreach come together in Pelosi in the house, the 14th film in that HBO collaboration. The 110-minute documentary is part of a relic-style love letter from a daughter to her mother, part of a biography of a character who is, undeniably, among the women. the most powerful in the history of our republic and partly a glimpse into the nature of a job everyone knows is important without always understanding what it entails.

The pieces don’t always fit neatly together, and Alexandra Pelosi grapples with a theme that looks proudly impenetrable, but there are points where Pelosi in the house engaging and enlightening enough to make up for it being simultaneously jerky and rushed.

“Throughout my adult life, I’ve been two steps behind you with this camera trying to keep up with you,” Alexandra tells her mother at the beginning of the documentary, a point she testifies to. convincingly demonstrated by several scenes devoted to the film’s key visual, that of Nancy Pelosi racing down the hallway in high heels as her daughter ran, capturing more linoleum than the congresswoman . Here’s another important thing to note for those who want to imply that there must be a team of 100 complete with drivers, cranes, and craft services just hanging around around January 6th. No, Alexandra Pelosi has a team, including editor Geof Bartz, but most of the documentary’s “team” consists of the filmmaker and her camera, easily explaining why. how she was able to keep up and eavesdrop on so many important moments. That and the “she’s my mother” thing.

Though its most poignant symbolism is a daughter walking down the corridors of power after a famous parent – one whose potential is to be remembered if Nancy Pelosi’s hasty move is to follow in her footsteps. a father who served in Congress and was mayor of Baltimore – Pelosi in the house is the best when Alexandra Pelosi has kept up with her mother.

I mean when Pelosi in the house is a biography of Nancy Pelosi, it’s a fairly generic set of footage that reminds viewers of slightly different clothes and slightly different hairstyles through a timeline that embraces the Pelosi family legacy. . expert analysis and, in this case, the result was a lack of insight, especially in the years before the director started creating his own shots.

The documentary struggles with generality, but finds the real rhythm in specificity. Like a thinner, more digestible version of Robert Caro Lyndon Johnson’s Years, Pelosi in the house Thriving on the process, the small details capture an adept political agent at work.

For certain types of audiences, “counting the votes” will always be compelling content, and my favorite part of the documentary is just passage after passage of Pelosi working over the phone to get support for the Affordable Care Act. Most of those phone conversations are one-sided, and it’s an interesting opportunity to see the various rhetorical strategies a leader must employ to entice or intimidate followers. step into the ranks; Calls are made in the back of rented cars, in the corner at family gatherings, or in her office surrounded by her dedicated employees. It’s small behind-the-scenes images, such as the original, rudimentary Zoom setup at Nancy Pelosi’s home during the COVID lockdown, showing the benefits of being in the room when important things happen.

The January 6 footage, which spans 30 minutes into the documentary’s second half, isn’t always as exciting, but it gives the documentary the momentum of a breath-taking thriller at the right time. point it needs a stream of energy. Coupled with surveillance and outside footage from the uprising, it shows the impossible task of those trying to keep calm and restore order during a tumultuous day. The urgency of having elected officials shuffled down hallways and into guarded rooms or private garages is a delightful addition to all the daughter shots that follow. the mother negotiates through the corridors.

Do I feel like I’ve left Pelosi in the house with a new understanding of Nancy Pelosi as a person? Not really. It’s a very, very limited family portrait, with even her husband Paul Pelosi playing a cameo as a kitchen guest or bored party guest. As for Nancy herself, Alexandra repeatedly reprimands her for how firmly she sticks to her message, and even the instances of Nancy Pelosi slandering Donald Trump – acts of impoliteness. which I believe will cause an aneurysm on Fox News – is the act of a public figure with a clear sense that her every word and action could lead to protest or ridicule online like. Alexandra Pelosi may not have delved into the different roles her mother plays, but I think she did a great job illustrating how and why Nancy chose her character.

With the January 6 footage already making a splash, I understand why HBO and the director chose to rush it Pelosi in the house broadcast. There’s been a huge leap between Joe Biden’s inauguration and Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she won’t be maintaining her leadership role after the midterm elections, which seems abrupt even if we We don’t know that a lot of pretty important things happened during that time. It was one of many times Pelosi in the house doesn’t really flow, where a four-hour documentary could have made the overall story fairer.

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