‘Becoming’ beautifully captures story of former First Lady

Documentary encompasses Michelle Obama’s moving, inspiring story



Fair use from Getty Images. Former First Lady Michelle Obama travelled all over the United States for up-close interviews about her book “Becoming.” Obama starred in the Netflix documentary “Becoming,” released May 6.

Sofia Seewald

When “Becoming” was released on Netflix May 6, my mom and I were anticipating an informational documentary about Michelle Obama, however, the movie gave us much more than that. “Becoming” was one of the most empowering documentaries I have ever seen.

The movie “Becoming” is based partly on Michelle Obama’s memoir by the same name published in 2018. Both the movie and the book take a look into Michelle Obama’s life before she was known as the former First Lady of the United States, and what her life is like now after the White House.

The documentary started off pretty slow, showing clips of the book tour Michelle Obama went on in 2018 through 2019. However, the director was clever in using the book tour as a way to frame the rest of the story. The movie touched on almost every aspect of Michelle Obama’s life — her family, her childhood, her old house on the South Side of Chicago, her education, her dating experience and so on. I loved how the documentary transitioned from one part of her life to the next with such ease. It made the movie captivating and it was the perfect way to portray her beautiful life story.

What made “Becoming” so memorable were the little stories Michelle Obama told on her book tours and how relatable they were. She shared stories about her first date with Barack Obama, where she had her first kiss in her neighborhood and when she dropped her kids off at college. All of these stories really made me see that Michelle Obama is a person like all of us and not just a political figure.

There was a segment of the documentary that also touched on Michelle Obama’s experience on the campaign trail in 2008 and what it was like to live in the White House for eight years. This part was intriguing because the viewer gets to hear unique stories about the staff, the children and the Secret Service. The movie also focuses on how hard campaigning was for Michelle and the emotional toll it takes on a person.

As a young person, this documentary was very inspiring. Not only did Michelle Obama do shows on her book tour, she also made time to meet with small groups of young people on the way. She talked about the hardships that came along with being the first African American First Lady and what that responsibility meant to her. She also taught the teens she met with how to love themselves and how to work on finding their own identities. I thought this portion was extremely powerful.

Although the beginning was a little slow, there were no dull parts for the rest of the documentary. The mesmerizing storytelling was done so eloquently and it just made me love Michelle Obama even more. “Becoming” hits it all — it’s family-friendly, educational, exciting and heartwarming. Michelle Obama has defied expectations once again.

★★★★☆ – “Becoming”