Where to view:
Available on Netflix SA
The world has been enthralled by America’s forever first lady Michelle Obama since the day her husband Barack was inaugurated as its first black president in 2009.
She was – and is – everything one would want in a world leader, often, I believe, outshining her astute husband with her observations on and compassion towards world issues, and unwavering confidence in her thoughts and opinions. By no means a people-pleaser but graciously aware of how she makes others feel and taking on the responsibility of their moment with her.
This can be seen in her documentary Becoming, which follows the entire experience of her book tour. Her memoir of the same name sold more copies than any other book published in the US in 2008 – accomplished in just 15 days.
The Netflix original takes us behind the scenes of Michelle’s 34-city book tour, sharing stories and lessons learnt during her time in the White House as well as during the tour.
The film is a tear-jerker that leaves one mesmerised by the kind of magic her presence brings to a room. And it shows very clearly that Obama’s dedication for the next phase of her life is shaping the next generation.
With that, one learns to greatly appreciate her need to remind everyone: “I’m from the South Side of Chicago. That tells you as much about me as you need to know.” So it greatly tells young people that, while where you come from will influence you, it won’t always determine where you end up. And that can be twofold.
The lawyer, Ivy League graduate, film producer, first black first lady of the US and bestselling author has a unique way of showing people that she’s a reflection of them – we’re all the same. The doccie takes us into the conversations she has with young people, and the struggles and triumphs of the next generation of leaders.
Created by film maker and cinematographer Nadia Hallgren – whose work included Girl Rising, which was nominated for an Emmy Award – the doccie gives us a glimpse into how much of others Obama takes on herself. Hallgren tells #Trending on the day of the documentary’s release on Netflix:
“The more time I spent with her and the more I got to know her, the more she revealed herself to be this incredibly warm, thoughtful and caring person. One thing that stood out for me right away was the amount of effort that she puts into other people; making me feel comfortable, making people she meets feel comfortable. She thinks about other people’s experience in a really thoughtful way. She demonstrated that over and over and over again.”
And what Hallgren mostly got right is that those who love Michelle Obama juice could imagine what a big jug of it would taste like.
If you’re looking for something to watch to make you feel like the world will get better and that there’s hope, watch Becoming.