Review: Pelosi in the House Is a Nepotistic Puff Piece

The glowing documentary makes no mention of her failures or even shortcomings as speaker.


Though it was released under the "HBO Documentary Films" banner, Pelosi in the House—which depicts Nancy Pelosi's two tenures as speaker of the House of Representatives—bills itself as a "home movie." That's because the film is directed by her daughter Alexandra Pelosi, using candid hand-held footage of the speaker at home and behind the scenes.

The film takes a broad view of Pelosi's life but devotes much of its run time to the two years her speakership overlapped with Donald Trump's presidency. As could be expected from a movie made within the family, the film selects the footage most likely to make the speaker look forthright, prescient, and independent.

She works the phones to corral votes for key legislation. She refers to Trump as "dangerous" and a "nut" and says she'd happily go to jail for slugging him. She endures slings and arrows from both sides, from the left for refusing to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq War and from the right for passing Obamacare. Finally, she flees rioters on January 6, 2021.

Unsurprisingly, the film spends no time on Pelosi's failures or even shortcomings. There is no mention of the gap in her speakership, when voters opposed to Obamacare voted Democrats out in droves. And what good is a documentary about a legislator that doesn't examine the impact of her legislation?