Michelle Obama is picking up where her memoir Becoming left off in a new documentary premiering on Netflix on May 6.
The movie, created by the Obama-backed production company Higher Ground, shares the title of the former first lady’s memoir published in 2018 and includes some of the same stories recounted in the book. However, it also gives people a look into Obama’s life since the book’s release, including the months spent on the road for her book tour. “I treasure the memories and that sense of connection now more than ever,” she writes on Instagram, reflecting on life before the coronavirus.
“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,” Obama writes in her announcement on Monday. “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.”
Obama went on to explain the meaning of the connection that she felt during those times. And more importantly, how it allowed her to make others feel secure. “I’m a hugger. My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalizing gesture one human can make toward another,” she writes. “The easiest way of saying, ‘I’m here for you.’”
During the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic and what Obama refers to as “our new reality,” this form of connection is no longer, along with other “simple” things. “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,” she writes. “But I’m here for you.”
Obama is ready to release her documentary, directed by Bronx-native cinematographer Nadia Hallgren, in the hopes that the visual story will lend an outlet for people struggling during this time.
“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,” she writes. “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.”
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