While watching Alexandra Pelosi's gripping documentary about her mother Nancy, Pelosi in the House, on HBO, I flashed back to when I met Alexandra more than two decades ago at SXSW.
SXSW has a great softball tournament the Sunday after the festival ends. I played for the Media team for several years. One of my teammates picked me up that morning to drive to the softball field complex outside of Austin. Alexandra was with him in the car.
She was funny and brash, as she has shown throughout her career as a filmmaker. Pelosi in the House is her career peak, at least to this point. It's a great film that connects her family and inner workings of democracy in Congress.
Alexandra shot some footage that day in Texas. I'm not sure if it was the year we won the championship, but I've never seen that or ever ran into her again. But I have followed her career, which includes such docs as Journeys with George and Fall to Grace.
Pelosi's film climaxes with the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, during which protesters called for her mother's death and looted her office. "I feel sick what [Trump] did to the Capitol and country today," Nancy said then. "All at the instigation of the President of the United States."
The Congress person is seen constantly on the phone and walking speedily past a gauntlet of reporters, usually answering with terse comments. She's a devout Catholic and granddmother (Alexandra's two boys play supportng roles). As an up-and-coming representative of San Francisco, she mentions wearing her hair long and sporting purple clothes like the hippies.
But Pelosi was no hippie. Raised in a political family (her father and brother were mayors of Baltimore), she would eventually become the two-time Speaker of the House and hence the most powerful women in America. Alexandra's portrait is spot on.