Becoming: A story told best by Michelle Obama

Cameras follow Michelle Obama during her book tour for “Becoming,” a new documentary available on Netflix.

Michelle Obama’s documentary “Becoming” opens to the beginnings of her book tour. The documentary follows Obama through her tour and delves into the various topics discussed in her book and on her book tour. Throughout the documentary, Obama’s dedication to personal connections and mentoring is further expounded upon and highlighted. Both her book and documentary allow Obama to express to the world what life was like as the first african american first lady in an intimacy that her life on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue did not allow for.
The documentary captured the lives of people close to Obama. Interviews were conducted with her brother, chief of staff, daughters, stylist, and more to show Obama in the broader context of those surrounding her.
The documentary also briefly follows the lives of young girls of color in high school that Obama meets with when on her book tour. These girls in small group sessions on the book tour allow for Obama’s desire to mentor the next generation to shine through clearly. Obama talks to the girls and tells them to be a “story” and not just a “statistic.” When a girl asks how to be a story and not merely a statistic, Obama’s advice is to start viewing yourself as more than a statistic and you will begin to live your story.
Obama also talks the toll being in the spotlight took on her. While on the campaign trail, Obama was a valuable asset. She gave speeches on behalf of her husband and worked all day until, according to her chief of staff, she would lose her voice. Because of her prominence in the campaign, media outlets began to attack her like they would a politician. Obama expressed that these attacks took a part of her soul and that they hurt. In response to these attacks, Obama stepped back in the campaign. It began that every move she made and breath she took had to be calculated. This did not end at the end of the campaign, however, as life as first lady was no different. Obama expressed that she and her husband Barack could not fall short of perfection in their time in the White House as the first african american president and first lady.
In the documentary, Obama also details raising two daughters in the spotlight. She details the changes to the residential staff dress code that she made because she did not want her daughters to grow up believing that people of color in tuxedos were there to serve them. Obama also expresses begging housekeeping to not make her girls’ beds and clean their rooms because she wanted her girls to grow up and know how to make a bed. One of the heartwarming stories that she shares in her interviews on her tour was of her daughters’ friends asking to have a sleepover the last night the Obama’s were in the White House.
The documentary is well produced, including a balance of heartwarming and inspirational stories. Obama’s perspective on her legacy is told best by her, which this documentary encapsulates well.