Obamas Produce First Movie for Netflix: “American Factory”

Barack and Michelle Obama on Wednesday debuted the first film to come of their collaboration with Netflix.  The film, “American Factory,” is a documentary set in Ohio, and chronicles what happens to workers laid off from a General Motors plant in 2008 who were hired six years later by Chinese glass company Fuyao Glass to work in the same plant.

Obama tweeted:

“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.”

The documentary traces the lives of thousands of workers laid off from their auto jobs in Moraine, Ohio, in the 2008 recession.

The Washington Post called “American Factory,” which arrived on Netflix on Wednesday, “a perfect vehicle for (Higher Ground’s) mission to lift up stories from underrepresented groups.”

Michelle Obama said:

“One of the many things I love about this film… is that you let people tell their own story. “American Factory’ doesn’t come in with a perspective; it’s not an editorial.”

The Obamas aren’t involved in writing or editing films; they produce, curate, and acquire content.  Essentially they find stories they hope will be told more broadly, and then use their social influence to bring people to the subjects.

Upcoming programming will include an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight about the slavery abolitionist, a period drama set in the fashion world and a series for pre-schoolers focusing on healthy eating.

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