Michelle Obama's Becoming is a fairly intimate journey with the former First Lady, as we travel with her through public life. Uplifting, Becoming embodies the best in Mrs. Obama and her mission to help our youth.
Netflix's Becoming is a delightful documentary that unveils how far our country has come during the Obama years and how far our country still needs to go. The doc offers an up-close look at Mrs. Obama's life, taking viewers behind the scenes, as she embarks on a 34-city tour promoting her memoir, Becoming. Director Nadia Hallgren highlights the power of our nation's community to help bridge our partisan divide. Through the lens, we see the spirit of relationships that open up when we honestly share our stories. Published in 2018: Mrs. Obama's memoir describes a deeply personal experience that led her to become our country's first Black First Lady. Becoming talks about Mrs. Obama's Southside roots, how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House. Here, Mrs. Obama had to balance both her role as the First Lady — like her public health campaign (Let's Move!) — and her role as a mother to her daughters Malia and Sasha. One million copies of Becoming were also donated to First Book, an American nonprofit organization, which provides books to children.
Through grace and multi-city conversations, Mrs. Obama gently shines her presence into leadership for our youth. Becoming also recalls moments of profound change and progress during the Obama years — the historic 2009 presidential inauguration and 2015's legalization of same-sex marriage (LGBT rights) by the Supreme Court. Yet, Mrs. Obama doesn't hold back on talking about the racial inequalities, police brutality, and gun violence that still ravage through our country. We talk about Black and Brown communities that are still disproportioned. We talk about the mass shootings that still persist in our country with no gun control laws insight — specifically the 2015 Charleston church massacre. And we talk about the Black men and women who continue to be killed by police brutality — George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice — honing in on the importance of Black Lives Matter. We also see how Mrs. Obama interacts with our youth, encouraging them to vote — this is how change starts. Productive activism and voting are how we, as a country, will move forward towards a brighter future.
Mrs. Obama doesn't hold back on her criticism towards the Democratic voters who didn't turn out in 2016 — "The day I left the White House, I write about how painful it was to sit on that stage — a lot of our folks didn't vote, so it was almost like, a slap in the face." Sadly, there's a lot of progress that's been overturned from the Obama years, which is why this November is highly critical that we get out and vote. As of now, our country is heading in a terrible direction, making the 2020 election more dire than 2016. This election will affect generations to come — so please make sure you get out and vote, vote, vote. In the end, Becoming is flawed in certain areas, yet Mrs. Obama's compassion and grace help guide this documentary in the right direction. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” — former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Becoming is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For some thematic elements and brief language.
Directed by Nadia Hallgren
Starring Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Gayle King, Craig Robinson, Marian Shields Robinson, Phoebe Robinson, and Oprah Winfrey.
Available to watch on Netflix.
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