One book. Thirty-four cities. And a film. Becoming, the written memoir from former First Lady Michelle Obama, has been available for about a year and a half. And on May 6, we get Becoming, the Netflix documentary.
The film gives 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."
And that, frankly, is something we could all use right about now. Here's the first full trailer for the upcoming doc:
The doc is directed by Nadia Hallgren. She was cinematographer on the Sundance award-winning Motherland in 2017, nominated for an Academy Award and winner of a Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Trouble the Water in 2008, as all as the Sundance winner Trapped in 2016.
"I intended on making a film about her current experience," Hallgren said in the release. "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. ... 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."
Michelle Obama put out a fuller note along with the news:
I'm excited to let you know that on May 6, Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir.
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. 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.
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.
As many of you know, I'm a hugger. 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. 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.
I am becoming ...
Everything you could possibly want
What's that? You somehow don't have a Netflix account? Let's take care of that, shall we? Because it's got more content than you have hours in your life. Think about that for a minute.
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