Michelle Obama is, without a doubt, one of our heroes here at Stylist. So you can imagine how excited we were when Netflix announced that the former First Lady is set to become the subject of a surprise new documentary.
That’s right: Becoming – named after Obama’s best-selling memoir – will follow Obama on her 34-city book tour and will offer an “intimate”, “rare and up-close” look at her life. And the first trailer for the documentary has just landed, two days before the documentary arrives on Netflix.
The trailer begins with Obama saying: “I am from the south side of Chicago that tells you as much about me as you need to know.” It goes on to gives a taste of what the documentary will contain including an interview discussing a teacher who thought Obama was reaching too high, meeting a young group of women of colour and telling them: “We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen.” And some wise words from her mother Marian.
Before the trailer was released, we were gifted a preview clip from the film where Obama is seen opening up about transitioning back to a “normal life” after spending almost a decade in the White House.
“It’s all different, and it’s different forever,” she says. “So it’s not [about] getting back on track but it’s creating my next track…
“I’m figuring out what I wanna do? What do I care about? And it takes time to process your life and figure out what it all means. So little of who I am happened in those eight years. So much of who I am happened before.”
Check it out:
Announcing the news via her own Twitter account, Obama said: “I’m excited to share that on 6 May, Netflix will release Becoming, a documentary directed by Nadia Hallgren that shares the stories of the amazing people I met after the release of my memoir.”
If you don’t know Hallgren’s name, you should: she recently made the critically-acclaimed documentary short After Maria, which looked at the effect of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rican families.
Obama, going on to acknowledge the ongoing threat of Covid-19, added: “During this difficult time, I hope you’ll find some inspiration and joy in this film.”
Expanding on her thoughts in a separate press release, Obama wrote: “Those months I spent travelling – meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe – drove home the idea that what we have in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with.
“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, tend to our communities, and try to keep up with work and school while coping with huge amounts of loss, confusion and uncertainty.
“Even as we can no longer safely gather or feed off the energy of groups, even as many of us are living with grief, loneliness and fear, we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes,” she added.
“Empathy is our lifeline here. It’s what will get us to the other side.”
The Becoming documentary, which boasts an all-female production team, will be available to stream on Netflix from 6 May. To find out what else is coming to the streaming platform in May, check out our guide here.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.