Becoming, a Michelle Obama Documentary


Sitota Mesfin, Staff Writer

Becoming tells an amazing story of Michelle Obama’s life, exploring her time in the White House as well as giving the backstory on what made her the person she is now. Truth be told, when I think of documentaries, I think of long and boring history lessons, but this was nothing like that. This was not only engaging with her humorous remarks, but inspiring as well. The movie really dug into who is the real Michelle Obama, not just as the face of the former first lady, but also as the wife and mom of two girls.

Becoming is a documentary on Michelle Obama, presented by Netflix and directed by Nadia Hallgren. It takes viewers along her book tour, showing her in interviews, family gatherings, book clubs, and youth groups. It displays a more carefree side of her, albeit still the kind and compassionate person we already know she is. We learn who she was before the first lady. A girl from South Side Chicago, a part of the working class. She went to Princeton University and later was accepted into Harvard University for law. Then she went to work in a law firm, where she met Barack Obama, who she later married three years later before producing two beautiful children. She was an important figure in Barack’s presidential campaign, even though politics were not her favorite thing. She performed many uplifting actions that really changed America for the better. When she left the White House after Barack finished his presidency, many would ask her how she was transitioning to her new life. One of her sayings really spoke to me. “It’s not getting back on track,” she said, “it’s creating my next track.”

If you could not tell, I really enjoyed this documentary and would recommend it to anyone out there. It really went deep into the racism she faced as a black independent woman, and even as the first lady. In fact, she had stated that back in college her roommate left because her mother was afraid of her living with a black girl. And even during her husband’s presidential campaign, she would receive death threats from people and backlash from the media. Despite this, she held her head high and really transformed the title of being first lady into a powerful one. She did not get caught up in the fluff of being first lady, saying “my husband is…”, and instead created her own identity. I also loved how the documentary showed her connection to young folk,

especially minorities. She understood that change starts young. In addition, she made sure that her children stayed humble by establishing that they would still have to make their bed, do their laundry, etc. on their own.

With every movie, there will always be things that could have been better. Now, with this documentary, the thing that really made it stand out was Michelle Obama herself. However the directing of the movie could have been more organized, and the way they would show clips of younger people’s lives, while interesting, was unnecessary. In addition, I feel that this documentary could have gone even deeper than it had, including information that could not be found through a search on the web. However, I would still recommend this film, especially to people who feel strongly about injustice and want to learn more about Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama’s Becoming documentary will instill a sense of hope like no other. It is a wonderful overview of a truly remarkable being, and I would gladly watch it again. Do not miss out on viewing such a powerful, phenomenal, comedic, and considerate human being. And remember the words of Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”