Netflix’s Becoming is not as insightful as Michelle Obama’s book but it’s worth your 90 minutes.
Netflix documentary film Becoming came out on the platform on May 6, 2020.
When I first saw the trailer for Michelle Obama’s Becoming, I specifically wondered if it would match the depths of her book. I will never forget my two-hour commute from work, listening to the former First Lady recount her life from birth to leaving the White House. On one occasion, I was so absorbed by her words during a crippling rush-hour that a single sentence she uttered reduced me to tears. Michelle Obama is one of a kind, truly.
Netflix’s Becoming does not have the same impact as the book; it follows Michelle Obama touring and promoting her autobiography while discussing major moments in her life; however, it does not do justice to the actual story that is echoed in many pages of her book. I’d advise anyone who has not consumed the book yet to do that, and then visit this documentary to understand the true context. The Obamas are much more than 90 minutes.
Becoming is an insightful piece of work — it manages to extract Michelle Obama’s aura; it demonstrates how she became so popular, propelling her story to significant importance. It portrays a young black girl from a working-class family in South Chicago to meeting world leaders and attending summits sounded unprecedented before 2008. There’s a true weight to this story that only historians will be able to dissect and put into analytical words — for now, it’s a dream that feels very far away with our political systems weighted down by fear. It’s crazy how “hope” was the mantra in 2016. Becoming feels like a time capsule from an alternate world in how supremely wise and progressive we all were.
But taking the recent nostalgia aside, Becoming is worth watching not only to understand how a black woman made herself visible in America at the highest office but also because it’s insightful of a truly wonderful and intelligent person.
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