Becoming (2020)

Becoming (2020)

Few public figures have garnered as much popularity and influence as former first lady Michelle Obama. Her latest book tour was a huge event, promoting her memoir: Becoming. Her tour is the subject of Netflix’s new documentary of the same name. The streaming service has announced that the film will premiere on May 6th, as a collaboration between Netflix and the Obama family.

The Book

Both Obamas rely on book deals as an important sources of post-presidency income. The former first lady was first to publish a book: a memoir detailing her life beyond the years she spent in the White House. When the book released in 2018, it became an instant bestseller, with over 10 million copies sold.

The Film

The film is set to highlight the book’s promotional tour, which spanned 34 cities. The crew strove to chronicle the trip, capturing how the Michelle interacted with readers. The film is directed by Nadia Hallgren, who recently produced the short film After Maria: a study into the effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rican families.

“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,” Said Obama in a statement. “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.”

Hallgren, too, has spoken of the process and its affect on her. She made an interesting point about security concerns while filming, due to keeping the Obamas in such small, closed spaces. She credits this process as enabling the intimate ambiance viewers have praised.


This isn’t the first collaboration between Netflix and the Obamas. A film production company was one of many projects spearheaded by the Obamas following 2016, and they hold a long-term deal with Netflix. Their largest collaboration was the award-winning documentary American Factory, which explores the impact of globalization on workers in the US and China.