(CBS Local)-- On Friday, October 23, Showtime premieres a new documentary from filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi called "American Nation: One Nation Shoots Itself," which documents one of the craziest years in American history. The daughter of Nancy Pelosi went around the country to cover everything from COVID-19's initial outbreak in New York to racial injustice protests in Washington D.C. and in Minnesota over the death of George Floyd.
Pelosi started this project in 2019 and wanted to document a year in the life of America before the 2020 Presidential Election. While she knew she would capture emotional and gripping scenes, Pelosi never could've imaged what has transpired the past year in this country.
"People now know how broken this country is, but a year ago it's not like it was all perfect," said Pelosi, in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "We didn't know that a virus was going to come and kill over 210,000 Americans and we didn't know that a 17-year-old girl was going to take her iPhone and film a murder that was going to make the whole world blow up and go protest. If you look back at last year and how we were getting along as a nation, it was pretty clear that the cracks were there that we were heading to something really ugly and I wanted to document that."
Pelosi has been making films for almost two decades and one of her most notable was "Journeys With George" where she documented the 2000 presidential election cycle and President George W. Bush's road to the White House. After traveling around the country for a year and talking to Americans in several different states, Pelosi says people need to take time to distance themselves from their phones and social media.
"Social media is really destroying our democracy," said Pelosi. "I feel like everybody is being fed this toxic sludge. This is not a new revelation, but it has gotten to the point where it is destroying our mental health. I feel like people need to get off social media, especially with the upcoming election. It doesn't matter who you support, you should not be staring at your feed. Your feed is making you sick. It's feeding you junk food that you should not be consuming. It's almost like it's feeding you to make you angry. I think that's the most dangerous threat to American civilization right now. I'm not on any of that stuff and I don't do any social media because I think it's toxic and I think it is destroying the conversation and making us hate each other. I traveled the country and meeting lots of people that don't vote the way I vote. You talk to them and they seem nice and human and real and on social media it brings out the worse in everyone."
Watch "American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself" on Showtime on October 23 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
for more features.