Saturday Movie Review: Becoming

Becoming follows former first lady Michelle Obama as she travels across the country on a book tour of her memoir of the same name. It is a documentary that allows a deeper look into the former first lady and her life before, during, and after the White House. There are images from her youth and family, the beginning of her relationship with Barack, the tart of their family, and the decision for Barack to run for President of the United States. As this documentary was filmed after the 8 years of presidency, it allows for personal reflection and reflection on the impact which Michelle Obama has had.

This documentary has fewer filters in the way in which Michelle Obama presents herself. During the campaign tours and the two consecutive presidential terms, there was a certain script that she had to follow. She would follow this script so that her actions and words wouldn’t be misinterpreted. The damage that could be done if she said something wrong critical part of the way that she was being viewed by society. he documentary provides a couple of examples of her words being twisted or changed in the media.

I enjoyed seeing Michelle and her family look through pictures and share their memories. I laughed at how her brother jokingly doesn’t want to accept the roles his sisters has had. It just all felt so realistic and not staged. It was like getting a look behind the scenes. I also enjoyed getting to watch her team as they prepared for the tour and supported her along the way. There was a real sense of loyalty, respect, and friendship between all of them. And they set up the book tours in a way they knew would make the most impact.

Speaking of impact, there are a few segments where the former first lady is meeting with diverse groups of college students. Right away you can see the admiration they have for her. What I enjoyed the most about these segments is how the students and their stories were the focus. It was not an “all about Michelle Obama” show but instead real journeys, emotions, and dreams of the next generation in society. This was one thing I had always admired about the Obamas – their dedication to the leadership of tomorrow. They wanted to encourage people to share their stories. They recognized that there would be leaders after them and that it was best to prepare for them now. They cared about everyone’s stories, not just the people on the top.

When I listened to the audiobook of Becoming I finished it feeling inspired and in awe of this woman who had been in the lions den and still came out strong. The 2008 election is an election that really did change the course of American history. It also allowed for the racism and hatred that is fully imbedded in our culture to openly reveal itself. There were people who honestly felt like the Obamas had no place in the White House due to the color of their skin; and they were willing to do whatever it took to remove them. Honestly, it was a little scar as a civilian/viewer and I can only imagine what it was like for the family actually living through it.

The Becoming documentary gives you a bit of the picture but society will never know how it truly felt by those living through it. When I finished the documentary, I had the same sense of awe which I did when I finished the book. What Michelle Obama has been through in her life could have made her bitter and resentful. I honestly wouldn’t blame her (or her husband) if she had. I somehow she continues to remain strong, optimistic, and work to push things forward and encourages the next the generation to start their journey and tell their stories. She remains real and actually accessible even as she has stepped back from the limelight. She remains a beacon of hope and light in some of the darkest times in our nation.

Rating: 5 Stars

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