Becoming: Netflix doc focuses on Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in Becoming. Courtesy of Netflix.

Becoming, the newest Netflix original documentary is less of a biographical doc and more of one that follows former First Lady Michelle Obama on her book tour.

Documentary filmmaker Nadia Hallgren follows the former First Lady during her 34-city book tour.  Documentaries have a way of capturing life as it is.  In this instance, Becoming may just be an example of life as it used to be. The packed arenas and bookstore signings are likely to be a thing of the past–at least in the short term.  Anyway, there’s so much behind the scenes going on especially with the book tour.  Late night hosts such as Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien also make appearances.  So does Oprah Winfrey.

Because of the book signings and other appearances to promote the book, people are able to share their story with the former First Lady.  Some stories appear during the credits, too.  Even though people might be different in some ways, there are still things that bond us together.  Through writing her memoir and sharing her story, Obama is able to get those stories out in the open.  We’re not just getting her story here.  During some portions, her brother, Craig Robinson, opens up about having Michelle for a sister.  I sensed some jealousy of having a sister whose more popular than he is.  After all, he is a former college basketball coach.  The former First Lady’s mother, Marian, also makes an appearance.

Will this documentary make you feel good?  It’ll make you feel good that there are still leaders out there that know HOW to lead.  Michelle Obama is someone who has the necessary qualities that we need in a leader.  While watching the film, I found myself badly missing the Obamas.  I found myself thinking that they wouldn’t have gutted offices that could prevent a pandemic from taking place.  Okay, I’ll stop myself before getting too political.  At the same time, how does one watch this film without feeling something about politics?  It’s honestly next to impossible!

It should be noted that this is the third film to come from the Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions.  Prior films include American Factory and Crip Camp.

Becoming is also a reminder of the leadership that America so badly needs in the White House.  It’s also a documentary about someone who is able to bring people together.

DIRECTOR:  Nadia Hallgren

Netflix launches Becoming on May 6, 2020. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.