Review | Obama: The President Who Inspired the World

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 29, 2018 (Last updated: January 18, 2024)
Obama: The President Who Inspired the World - Review

Obama: The President Who Inspired the World Review

Director Mark Radice
Writer(s) N/A
Network More 4
Release Date January 20, 2018

Whats this about?

This documentary is about the life of Barack Obama. Who despite his class, race and changing beliefs would become the 44th president of the United States of America.

So where does Obama: The President Who Inspired the World start?

This documentary starts analyzing Obama as a fresh-faced college-leaver. At first he worked as a community organizer. This is a job role which entails talking and listening to people in the community. To try and reach out to them and the community as a whole, in order to realize their potential. The documentary discusses the turmoil he felt in his younger life, feeling his identity was lost in the airs of America.

His father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and his mother, Ann Dunham, was from Kansas and specialised in economic anthropology. As a young man growing up in America during the eighties, who was seen as white by the black community and black to the white community. It left Obama feeling he didn’t quite have that sense of belonging we all long for. After visiting his father’s grave after Obama senior died when Obama junior was just twenty-one, he came back to America and applied to study law at Harvard.

So how did Harvard help?

The documentary tells how Obama’s classes really moulded his personality. He gained more confidence. It was tangible the leader he was shaping to be. This is also where the documentary mentions how Obama was elected to be the president of the Harvard Law Review, the first Black African to be awarded such a novelty.

So, what was next?

After Obama gained his confidence and realised he had a skill to be a leader and a likeable one at that, he released his autobiography in 1995. At thirty years old and unknown to the world, he released “Dreams From My Father”. This shows Obama’s conflict surrounding his heritage, where and who he belonged to. The documentary then jumps backwards 6 years to 1989 when Obama met Michelle Robinson. Who would eventually shape up to be a highly established role model for people everywhere.

Although I don’t like the jump backwards, this is very important to Obama’s journey. Obama was contemplating running for office in Chicago, the demographic of which was mostly made up of black African communities. As the documentary already discussed, Obama was trusted by and seen mostly by the black community as white. The reason Michelle is tied in so late is that it is her and the family they have together which would eventually change how Obama was portrayed and win Obama the votes.

1200px-Barack_Obama_family_portrait_2011Is it all about Obama’s start in life?

No, not at all. The documentary goes on to discuss the trials and tribulations he suffered mainly from within the institution. Obama suffered political obstruction frequently in his first term. Those higher up refused to conform to Obama’s forward-thinking. Whether this was due to a contrasting opinion of politics or a racial matter will never be clarified. One major problem Obama faced in his second term of office was police brutality. The mould had been broken with an African American being voted for president twice in a row. However, the same could not be said for the social exclusion many suffered from at the time.

Obama brought in people from the civil rights department and people representing the police force and had a four-hour meeting to discuss such matters, showing the passion Obama seemed to always apply to matters such as these. The setback we can see in this is that his critics lashed out by suggesting that if America had had a white president the issue wouldn’t have been taken care of so tentatively. However, you must be the change you wish to see in the world (Mahatma Gandhi).

Does this documentary only show the good side?

Every president, every prime minister, every leader of a country has made a decision which they themselves are not proud of, and the public view as being the wrong call. The same definitely applies to Obama. The documentary shows how abysmal the situation in Libya and Syria was between all the attacks and bombings, the threats (which seemed to be empty) and the humanitarian crisis which ensued. Although you could name worse leaders than Obama, he was definitely not perfect during his two terms. But could anyone really be perfect for everyone?


If you’re interested in how the first-ever African-American president came to own such a title then you should definitely give this a watch. It flashes almost perfectly through the life of a young Obama. Showing how and where he was shaped to be the 44th president of the USA. Despite all his inner turmoil, barriers created by society and his progressive political beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, he has turned out to be one of the most well-loved celebrities of our day.

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