Parents' Guide to

Michelle Obama: Life After the White House

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Docu offers little new, but the subject still inspires.

Movie NR 2020 53 minutes
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There's value in this documentary because of its inspirational subject, who continues to generate significant public interest, but it offers little new to the canon of information about the Obamas. Michelle Obama: Life After the White House covers the by-now-familiar ground of the former first lady's life story and career. Yet despite the title, there's very little in the way of new material or insight into the Obamas' lives post-presidency beyond mention of her autobiography, Becoming, and the Obamas' documentary production deal with Netflix. In fact, we're 47 minutes in to the 53-minute documentary before the Obamas actually leave the White House.

If you can watch only one Michelle Obama documentary, make it Netflix's Becoming, which offers new behind-the-scenes and first-hand footage and commentary. Life After the White House, by contrast, relies on information from the autobiography, archive footage, and lengthy commentary from two sources -- a "journalist" and a "professor of government" at the University of Essex -- whose expertise or connection to the Obamas isn't clear. Nonetheless, Michelle Obama is always a fascinating and inspiring subject and a role model to millions, making this and pretty much any documentary about her intrinsically worthwhile.

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