A Surprise Michelle Obama Netflix Documentary Is Landing Next Week

Becoming documents the former First Lady's transition out of the White House

Michelle Obama is getting the documentary treatment. The former First Lady and author is the focus of the new film Becoming, which tracks the period of change in her life following her husband Barack Obama‘s presidency. Named after her best-selling memoir released in 2018, the events on camera are an intimate portrayal of Obama during her 34-city book tour, meeting and sharing stories with communities across the country. Nadia Hallgren (She’s the TicketAfter Maria) directs.

Here’s what to know about the project.

IT PREMIERES ON 6 MAY ON NETFLIX

This Netflix original arrives on the platform on Wednesday, 6 May, just under two weeks after it was announced. Like most programmes on the streamer, we can expect Becoming to launch at around 7am (GMT).

A PREVIEW SHOWS MICHELLE OBAMA BONDING WITH A GROUP OF BRIGHT YOUNG GIRLS

One of the stops on the former First Lady’s book tour saw her meeting with a group of inquisitive girls who asked her about her life post–White House. “It’s not getting back on track, but it’s creating my next track,” she tells her guests, referring to her transition out of her career as FLOTUS, in Netflix’s first look of the doc. Watch the full clip above.

Michelle Obama Oprah Winfrey

Photo: Getty

IT’S BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR TWO YEARS

Director Nadia Hallgren first met with Michelle in 2018, soon after Higher Ground Productions, Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company, first launched.

“I had 30 minutes with her. I was told—if you connect with each other, you have the job. No pressure,” Hallgren recalled in a statement. “We just started to talk about ourselves. I’m from the South Bronx, she’s from the South Side. We both understood the neighbourhood pride. We talked about where we came from, how it shaped who we are and, of course, we talked about our mothers. After 30 minutes, she said, ‘Let’s do this.'”

MICHELLE OBAMA HAS SOME LOVING WORDS ABOUT THE PROJECT

The former FLOTUS herself responded to the news on Instagram. “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,” she wrote in part of her post. “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, and cope with loss, confusion, and uncertainty.”

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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, and cope with 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 we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes. Even 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. #IAmBecoming

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

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