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The Obamas Open Up About Producing New Netflix Documentary And Future Projects

The former First Couple is ready to show off their film producer chops.
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to create President Obama's portrait, and Amy Sherald that of Michelle Obama. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Getty
By Paula Rogo · August 22, 2019

It was announced last May that the Obamas had signed a groundbreaking agreement with streaming giant, Netflix, to “produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.”

And now, the first release from the former First Couple –under their Higher Ground Productions banner–is around the corner and they are opening up about their new documentary, American Factory.

During a recent sit-down with the documentary’s filmmakers, Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, the beloved couple discuss the kinds of storytelling we can expect from them in the future.

“A good story is a good story,” Barack says. “Whether that’s in a documentary like yours or if it’s a scripted story that helps people understand something they didn’t understand before, we want to see if we can give voice to that.”

“We want people to be able to get outside of themselves and experience and understand the lives of somebody else, which is what a good story does,” Michelle added.

American Factory follows the lives of workers who join a new American factory opened by a Chinese billionaire in an Ohio town. “Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America,” Netflix says in description of the film.

The project will set the ultimate tone for Higher Ground, which will support both scripted and unscripted titles.

American Factory premiered August 21 on Netflix.