Parents' Guide to

American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Docu about a divided America has violence, cursing.

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This thought-provoking, and disturbing, documentary serves as a snapshot, or "selfie," that captures the country in a moment of high turmoil. It showcases how strongly divided people are over issues ranging from immigration to gun control, as well as more recent efforts to get people to wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19. It also reveals the inability of people on both sides to discuss these issues civilly. As the tensions grow higher across the country, so does the violence, and the narrative moves quickly from candid interviews and imagery of political activism to on-going scenes of angry clashes between protestors, images of police brutality, and the frustrated shouts of people left with few options as they lose jobs, homes, and hope.

Some may argue that Pelosi (daughter of Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) approaches these issues with a liberal bias. Scenes showing Trump supporters chanting anti-immigrant rants and folks arguing against COVID-19 government restrictions are juxtaposed with scenes of people who are suffering first hand from the consequences of this rhetoric. But it does point to the ironies (like pro-environmentalists leaving litter behind after a climate change march) on the left side of the divide. Meanwhile, it's impossible to hide the disconnect between what the White House is communicating to the public and the realities Americans are capturing on their cell phones every day. American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself isn't an easy watch, but it offers a lot of insight into the state of the country leading up to the official start of the 2020 presidential campaign.

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