Barack and Michelle Obama are set to continue their producing partnership with Netflix – but this time, they’ve turned the camera on themselves. The streaming service announced Monday that the next film released under the couple’s Higher Ground Productions banner will be “Becoming,” a documentary following Michelle Obama on the recent book tour for her record-breaking memoir.
“I’m figuring out, what do I want to do? What do I care about?” the former first lady says in a clip from the documentary. “It takes time to process your life and figure out what it all means.”
Streaming May 6, “Becoming” arrives at a defining moment in Obama’s life. A few years removed from the East Wing, the widely admired first lady’s influence remains evident. She’s maintained a foothold in American pop culture, and the presumptive Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, recently said he would choose her as his running mate “in a heartbeat.” She’s made clear that she does not want to return to run for office, but Biden’s remark raises the same question Obama asks of herself in the film: How will she choose to wield her power?
The arena book tour for “Becoming,” launched in November 2018, became the first of its kind for a former first lady. She visited more than 30 cities and spoke before tens of thousands of people at each stop; numerous headlines noted that she managed to make each discussion “feel like an intimate conversation.” The memoir itself was also more revealing than one might have expected from Obama, who remained guarded during her husband’s two terms. The book, which Obama used to reveal that she once struggled with fertility issues and to share her outrage over then-candidate Donald Trump’s promotion of the false birther conspiracy theory, sold 2 million copies in its first two weeks, making it the fastest-selling book of 2018.
“Becoming” is directed by Nadia Hallgren, a cinematographer who accompanied Obama on the tour and, according to a statement, aimed to capture who the former first lady “is in this moment and the way she’s reflecting on the entirety of her life, not just her years in the White House.” This is the third film from Higher Ground productions, which also produced this year’s Oscar-winning documentary “American Factory.” The Obamas launched the company in the spring of 2018.