Our forever first couple had plenty of reason to celebrate on Oscar night. The documentary, American Factory, which received support from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, took home an Academy Award.
Barack extended congratulations to the duo behind the documentary, co-directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, in a tweet. “Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” he wrote.
“Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release,” he concluded.
The celebrated film explores the effects of the shifts in the economy on the average American by following the story of Fuyao, a non-union Chinese automotive glass plant. As it experiences friction within the surrounding Dayton, Ohio community that once thrived as stakeholders of a General Motors plant, both management and employees are permitted to weigh in on the costs of our new way of doing business.
Full of cultural clashes, and timely reflections, American Factory advocates for those with a strong work ethic and a lack of viable opportunity. It also acknowledges the need for global economic progress. The Obamas became involved after seeing a cut of it at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2018 Higher Ground landed a multi-year contract with Netflix that promises more moving titles like American Factory.
Michelle tweeted out her congratulations on the achievement as well. “Congrats to Julia, Steven, and the whole crew on winning Best Documentary for #AmericanFactory, Higher Ground’s first release! So glad to see their heart and honesty recognized—because the best stories are rarely tidy or perfect. But that’s where the truth so often lies,” she wrote.
In addition to its Oscar win, American Factory received the Los Angeles Film Critics’ documentary prize last December as well.