Michelle Obama documentary Becoming to premiere on Netflix
Directed by documentarian Nadia Hallgren (She's the Ticket), Becoming will premiere on May 6 and follow the former First Lady on her 34-city tour following the release of her book in 2018. Hallgren seeks to offer an intimate look at Obama as she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, transitioned out of the White House.
Netflix released the first clip along with the announcement that the film, you know, exists, and Obama shared a note to viewers.
"Those months I spent traveling — meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe — drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with," Obama wrote. "In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams. We processed the past and imagined a better future. In talking about the idea of ‘becoming,’ many of us dared to say our hopes out loud."
"I treasure the memories and that sense of connection now more than ever, as we struggle together to weather this pandemic, as we care for our loved ones, tend to our communities, and try to keep up with work and school while coping with huge amounts of loss, confusion, and uncertainty," she continued. "It’s hard these days to feel grounded or hopeful, but I hope that like me, you’ll find joy and a bit of respite in what Nadia has made. Because she’s a rare talent, someone whose intelligence and compassion for others comes through in every frame she shoots. Most importantly, she understands the meaning of community, the power of community, and her work is magically able to depict it."
Becoming, Obama's memoir, quickly became the best-selling book of 2018 when it launched that November. In it, she writes about her upbringing, her family, her marriage, and, of course, her time in the White House. Now that Becoming, the documentary, will be hitting the streaming platform during the coronavirus pandemic, Obama addressed the new quarantine environment in her note.
"As many of you know, I’m a hugger," she wrote. "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. But I’m here for you. 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."
She added, "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. Even in hard times, maybe especially in hard times, our stories help cement our values and strengthen our connections. Sharing them shows us the way forward. I love and miss you all."