Michael Kirk, “Pelosi’s Power” (2022)
Purporting to be an examination of the career and legacy of US Congress representative Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives since 2019 and previously from 2007 to 2011, this documentary ends up being a hagiography of Pelosi. Various public officials and other political commentators and experts give their opinions and views of Pelosi’s career and character, and all of them speak of her in glowing terms. Viewers are given the barest sketch of Pelosi’s background, growing up in an Italian-American family dedicated to public service in Baltimore, her early marriage to businessman Paul Pelosi in 1963 and the five children they had in six years. There is hardly much though about how Nancy Pelosi entered politics and began working her way up through Democratic Party internal politics. We do not even learn which Federal electorate she has represented in US Congress since 1987 (it happens to be San Francisco, for those who are interested), nor do we learn anything about her political platform, what she believes in and what she stands for. Needless to say, there is absolutely nothing about allegations against Pelosi and her husband Paul that she has been secretly passing information to him that enables him to buy shares cheaply or sell shares and reap considerable profit before important legislation is passed that affects US share markets.
The presentation of the documentary, based wholly on interviews with officials, politicians and others who know Pelosi or who have worked with her, seems deliberately designed to obfuscate and hide significant information while portraying Pelosi as a crusading angel for democracy and freedom. The tale of the elephant and the blind men who examine it and declare what they believe the elephant is, based on their limited experience, comes to mind: each interviewee gives his or her biased view of Pelosi and it is invariably full of praise for her supposed leadership and decision-making. We end up with a glowing report of Pelosi as she is seen by her supporters and other Democratic Party officials and workers but nothing substantial about the woman herself, what she believes and what drives her to do and be what she is. Much of what is uttered in the documentary is astonishingly shallow: one interviewee says Pelosi stood out against US President Donald Trump (2017 – 2021) in their interactions and confrontations because … gasp! … Pelosi is a woman!
I am loath to recommend this documentary even as an introduction to those who have not heard of Pelosi before and who are interested in learning more about her. It really is nothing more than cheap and shallow propaganda that has nothing significant to say about someone who has spent more than 40 years in politics and has held important positions in the House of Representatives. In all that time, what has Pelosi done for her constituents in San Francisco or for the people in the United States generally? The documentary doesn’t say.