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6 Reasons To Watch “Becoming”, Michelle Obama’s Netflix Documentary

On November 2018, Michelle Obama published her autobiography, entitled “Becoming”. The book was such a huge success that Netflix turned it into a documentary that is now available at the streaming platform.

Directed by Nadia Hallgren and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, the film follows the former first-lady during her book tour around the United States, in which, alongside a moderator, she talks about the book and her life experiences.

Becoming” was released on May 6th, showing a new side of the Obama family, and quickly entered Netflix’s Top 10 at the U.S. So, if you are considering watching it, here are 6 reasons why you should definitely go for it.

Getting to know Michelle and the Obama family away from the White House

As soon as the documentary starts, we get to watch Michelle jamming to “A God Like Me” by Kirk Franklin, as she says “I have an eclectic taste in music. It depends on the mood: whether I want to be inspired or whether I just want to thump it out”. This is just one of many scenes in which she shows her personality and humor outside of the presidency. During the film, we also understand how Michelle tried to look perfect for the public eye during those years and her relief in not having to do that anymore.

Michelle is the center of it all

The beauty of watching the story of the first African-American First Lady of the US is also being able to visit her journey apart from Barack’s. Although the years in the White House are an important subject, Michelle’s childhood and family are a big part of the documentary, as it shows their difficulties as a black family in south Chicago during the 70s. She also talks about her years at Princeton and Harvard and how many people doubted her capability.

The representativeness for young women

Touring the United States, Michelle meets lots of women and girls to whom she’s a big inspiration. The conversations she has with those girls are one of the most beautiful things to watch in this documentary, as we see the importance of her figure, being a poor African-American woman who got to be in a powerful position. In one of those talks, she tells them: “We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen”.

The storytelling

Due to the fact that “Becoming” follows Michelle on her book tour, almost every story is narrated by herself – and it’s amazing! Perhaps because she’s mostly talking to a crowd and not a camera, the storytelling is very light, easy to follow and full of jokes, including when she tells the audience how she met Barack Obama and they started dating.

The “Behind The Scenes” of Obama’s campaign and years in the White House

One of the highlights of this documentary is getting to see Michelle’s side of those years. During Barack’s first election campaign, his wife was an important and powerful figure to the electors, and because of that she got attacked and portrayed as an angry and lousy woman by opponents. In “Becoming”, Michelle finally gets to open up about how she felt listening to those comments and the pressure of living in the White House for eight years.

All the important subjects it addresses

In this documentary, Michelle Obama addresses subjects that have been a part of her life and shares the lessons she took from it. Self-love, marriage counselling, fighting against the odds, being very exposed to the public eye and the racism she suffered are only a few of the topics brought up by her. Being able to understand and learn from it is the main reason why this documentary became a success.

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The article above was edited by Laura Okida.

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Julia Queiroz

Casper Libero '23

Soon to be journalist. Passionate about writing, telling stories and getting to know the world.
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