Coming to Showtime tonight, Friday, October 23:
AMERICAN SELFIE: ONE NATION SHOOTS ITSELF
Showtime broadcast (October 2020)
A wide-ranging look at a polarized America.
Despite the title of filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi’s project, her documentary isn’t really about selfies, except for an opening segment engaging with tourists in front of Jeff Koons’ Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Instead, she travels across America for about a year, beginning in September 2019, to capture the nation’s division at Trump rallies, environmental protests, pro-gun gatherings, Black Friday sales, the Super Bowl, and a variety of locations related to the pandemic, from grocery stores being emptied of products and funeral homes inundated with victims of the coronavirus to Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder to Trump’s reprehensible photo op at St John’s Church. If it’s division she wished to capture, she does so in spades, with many scenes punctuated by angry people yelling at one another. It’s a lot to take in and, frankly, goes on a bit too long, but it is an honest snapshot of what we’ve come to, and an urgent reminder of the role those currently in power have played in fanning these flames of discord for their own benefit.