Oregon lawmaker inspires Pelosi’s latest film

Alexandra Pelosi wants to thank a certain Democratic lawmaker for inspiring her latest film, “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County,” which premiered Monday night on HBO. But despite the filmmaker’s instantly recognizable surname, it’s not who you might think.

In an interview with ITK, the youngest daughter of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cited Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) as the person who first challenged her, in early 2009, to make a film about a non-political subject.

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Pelosi was hot off the release of “Right America: Feeling Wronged,” her look at the then-nascent Tea Party movement, her fifth in a string of politically themed documentaries for HBO.

“I was visiting Washington in January for my mom’s second swearing-in as Speaker,” Pelosi said, “and Earl walked up to me and said, ‘Alexandra, you need to make a movie that no one can campaign against. Something that’s going to unite people.’ ”

Blumenauer told ITK that in the ensuing months, he and Pelosi talked on the phone about how she might profile the working poor. “I’m really concerned about how the poor pay more for everything, from rent to food to medical care,” he said in an interview last week, “and Alexandra was interested in this idea of people on the edge of the poverty line.”

“[Blumenauer] inspired me with how much he knew about this, and how unjust it is that the working poor can’t afford a basic standard of living,” Pelosi said. “That got me thinking about a whole new subject matter.”

Blumenauer caught a preview of the film last week in Washington. As for what he thought of the flick? “It was a home run. Great work!”