We finally have specific details about some of the shows, films, and documentaries Barack and Michelle Obama have been working on in conjunction with Netflix since their partnership with the streaming company was announced last May.
Higher Ground Productions, the production company owned by the former president and first lady, announced a slate of upcoming content on Tuesday that “encompasses a wide range of fiction and non-fiction signature productions for all audiences,” according to a press release.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” said former president Obama of the company, which launched last spring.
“Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all," he said.
The projects are at various stages of production and cover a wide range of content, including documentaries, series, and narrative features.
Here’s a brief description of some of the upcoming stories, which will be released over the next few years:
American Factory: A feature film that takes place in postindustrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant. The film was acquired by the Obamas’ production company after its premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It was directed by the Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning duo Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.
Bloom: This project has been described as an “upstairs/downstairs drama” that takes place in the fashion world of a post-WWII New York City. The series will showcase obstacles women and people of color dealt with “in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.”
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom: This project will be a feature-length adaptation of the book of the same name by David W. Blight. Blight won the Pulitzer Prize in History for the book this year.
Overlooked: This is an adaptation of the New York Times’ obituary column, which tells the “stories of remarkable people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper.”
Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents: This show, from creators Jeremy Konner and Erika Thormahlen, will be a series of 30-minute episodes targeted at preschoolers.
Fifth Risk: A nonfiction series aiming to portray the “unheralded work” done by everyday heroes who are doing the work to guide the government and safeguard the nation.
Crip Camp: This is a feature-length documentary focusing on a 1970s summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, just down the road from Woodstock, which helped put the disability rights movement in motion.
“We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it’s all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives,” said Michelle Obama of the various forthcoming projects.
“We think there’s something here for everyone — moms and dads, curious kids, and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day,” she said. “We can’t wait to see these projects come to life — and the conversations they’ll generate.”