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Michelle Obama ‘Becoming’ documentary is a surprise new Netflix release

Michelle Obama with young fan
Michelle Obama, left, hugs a fan during her book tour to promote her memoir “Becoming.”
(Netflix)

A documentary chronicling former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for her bestselling memoir, “Becoming,” is coming to Netflix next month.

The Netflix original — in partnership with Higher Ground Productions, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company affiliated with Netflix — boasts an all-female production team led by director Nadia Hallgren.

The streaming giant announced Monday that the documentary will have a global release on Netflix on May 6 and offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Obama’s life during her 34-city book tour in 2018.

In a preview clip from the film, the former FLOTUS fields questions from a group of young fans about how she intends to transition back into civilian life after her time in the White House.

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“It’s all different, and it’s different forever,” said Obama. “So it’s not [about] getting back on track but it’s creating my next track. So little of who I am happened in those eight years. So much of who I am happened before.”

“Those months I spent traveling — 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,” she wrote in Monday’s press release announcing the documentary.

“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.

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“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.”

Obama’s “Becoming” sold more than 725,000 copies on its first day of sale, becoming the fastest-selling book of 2018 at Barnes & Noble. As of last month, it has sold nearly 10 million copies, putting it on track to become the most successful memoir in history. An audio edition of the memoir won a Grammy this year in the spoken-word category.

Writer turns to guided journal for Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” to grapple with anxiety and cabin fever during coronavirus crisis.


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