Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaWe must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE on Wednesday unveiled the first project from Higher Ground, their film production company, releasing a short preview of “American Factory” the same day the documentary becomes available on Netflix.
“A good story gives you the chance to better understand someone else’s life,” Obama wrote on Twitter, including a clip of a sit-down with filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.
A good story gives you the chance to better understand someone else’s life. It can help you find common ground. And it’s why Michelle and I were drawn to Higher Ground’s first film, American Factory. Take a look at our conversation with the directors, and check it out on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/KzkYFqjrFV— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 21, 2019
In the clip, the Obamas said that since leaving their respective law careers, they had a passion to tell stories.
“We want to be in relationships with people and connect with them and work together with them,” Barack Obama said, later adding that “we all have a sacred story.”
“A story that gives us meaning and purpose and how we organize our lives,” he said.
"American Factory," which won in the directing category at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, "takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans," according to Higher Ground. But, the production company added in an April announcement, "early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America."
Bognar said the factory workers' stories are “equally compelling to superheroes’.”
“People trust us with their story, and that's a huge responsibility, but we feel so lucky,” he said.
The Obamas have signed a multiyear contract with Netflix, with other planned releases set to include a feature film about Frederick Douglass, a program for teaching young children about what makes a healthy diet and a look the New York fashion industry “that depicts barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.”