Barack and Michelle Obama recently sat down with the filmmakers of “American Factory,” the Netflix documentary and first release under the couple’s Higher Ground Productions.
In May it was announced the Obamas signed a deal with Netflix to create “a diverse mix of content” under their company, which will be composed of both scripted and unscripted series, features, documentaries and docuseries.
Michelle and Barack Obama talked about the first project released under their Netflix partnership. (Photo: The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar are the makers of “American Factory,” which tells the story of a Chinese company reopening “a shuttered factory in Ohio, but a culture clash threatens to shatter an American dream.”
During their sit-down, Reichert and Bognar asked the former president and first lady why they chose their project for their production company out of all the others they could’ve selected.
“You let people tell their own story,” said Michelle Obama. “Those first scenes of those folks on the floor in their uniforms, that was my background. That was my father. And that was reflected in this film.”
“A good story is a good story,” said the former president in another part of the clip. “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.”
The “Becoming” author also said a true story like “American Factory” allows people to immerse themselves in the plights of others, which is important.
“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,” she stated.
Elsewhere in the little over three-minute chat, The Obamas were asked why they went into media production after leaving the White House. And they said storytelling is something they’ve been doing in one way or another since leaving their respective law careers.
“American Factory” is now available for streaming on Netflix, and you can see the Obama’s sit-down below.