Michelle Obama in Becoming (2020)
Michelle Obama in Becoming (2020)
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Michelle Obama, known to us as ‘Forever FLOTUS’, is Becoming the subject of a much-anticipated documentary.

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According to Forbes, her memoir went on to become a bestseller, selling 10 million copies in 2019 and making $36 million. Now, the book will continue its journey in the visual medium via a documentary on Netflix. Directed by Nadia Hallgren, Becoming gives an intimate glimpse of the author behind the book.

The official synopsis of the doc, per the press release obtained by The Root:

Becoming is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

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In a teaser trailer of the upcoming doc, we see footage of Mrs. Obama at a Philadelphia community event with the group most inspired by her: little black girls.

In the clip, she gets transparent after a young girl asks her about the difficult transition to becoming the first lady.

“I’m figuring out, ‘What do I want to do? What do I care about?’ And it takes time to process your life and figure out what it all means. So little of who I am happened in those eight years. So much more of who I was happened before,” Mrs. Obama reflected.

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Becoming (2020)
Becoming (2020)
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

“I intended on making a film about her current experience—where she is in this moment and the way she’s reflecting on the entirety of her life, not just her years in the White House,” Hallgren, a black female director and cinematographer, said in a statement. “Spending time with the Robinson family and seeing how they love to tease and rib each other was unexpected and striking in its familiarity. It’s easy to see how Mrs. Obama is able to stay grounded and down to earth. It’s the same spirit and humor that she brought to rapt audiences in packed arenas and intimate spaces alike, reconnecting with people in a way she hadn’t been able to in years. That is what Becoming is at its core: understanding that when you share the same fears, doubts, and joys as someone like Michelle Obama, all of our stories have equal power.”

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Last May, the Obamas announced their Netflix slate via their company Higher Ground Productions, which included a promising variety of projects. Still, this one is a huge deal as it’s the first time Mrs. Obama and her personal life are front-and-center on the screen.

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“As many of you know, I’m a hugger,” Mrs. Obama wrote in a statement that notes that as we weather the complications of the coronavirus pandemic, “connection” is something to treasure. “My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalizing gesture one human can make toward another—the easiest way of saying, “I’m here for you.” And this is one of the toughest parts of our new reality: Things that once felt simple—going to see a friend, sitting with someone who is hurting, embracing someone new—are now not simple at all.”

Becoming (2020)
Becoming (2020)
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
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“But I’m here for you,” she continued. “And I know you are here for one another. Even as we can no longer safely gather or feed off the energy of groups, even as many of us are living with grief, loneliness, and fear, we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. It’s what will get us to the other side. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, reconsider our priorities, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes.”

Becoming debuts on Netflix on May 6.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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