Michelle Obama announced via Instagram this week that Netflix will soon release Becoming, a documentary inspired by her bestselling memoir of the same name.
The documentary, which Ms. Obama writes “shares the stories of the amazing people I met after the release of my memoir,” is directed by Nadia Hallgren, and will be available to stream on May 6.
Becoming, the memoir, was released in fall of 2018, and shattered sales records while gaining praise from book critics and media personalities alike. It became the bestselling hardcover book of 2018 and has since sold 10 million copies worldwide.
The success of the book spawned an international speaking tour for the former first lady, selling out arenas across the globe for speaking engagements and live conversations with figures like Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King. Footage from the speaking tour will now makeup the Netflix documentary, as Ms. Obama teased on Instagram with a short clip of herself having a sit-down conversation with several young women in Philadelphia.
In the scene, one starstruck young woman asks Ms. Obama whether life has returned to normal after leaving the White House, to which the former first lady stated that she is still trying to figure it all out.
“So little of who I am happened in those eight years,” Ms. Obama said of her family’s time in Washington. “So much more of who I was happened before.”
Referring to the ongoing crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Obama wrote in her Instagram post, “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.” And to admirers who are feeling fear or anxiety amid this crisis, she wrote, “I’m here for you. And I know you are here for one another. Even as we can no longer safely gather we need to stay
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I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, @Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by @nadiahallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with. In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams. We processed the past and imagined a better future. 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, and cope with loss, confusion, and uncertainty. 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. 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. As many of you know, I’m a hugger. My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalizing gesture one human can make toward another—the easiest way of saying, “I’m here for you.” And this is one of the toughest parts of our new reality: Things that once felt simple—going to see a friend, sitting with someone who is hurting, embracing someone new—are now not simple at all. But I’m here for you. And I know you are here for one another. Even as we can no longer safely gather we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes. Even in hard times, our stories help cement our values and strengthen our connections. Sharing them shows us the way forward. I love and miss you all. #IAmBecoming.
open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”