Barack and Michelle Obama received their first Academy Award nomination on Monday, for their documentary 'American Factory.'
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama can now add another endeavor to their long list of accomplishments. They are now officially Academy Award nominees. The Academy on Monday nominated their groundbreaking documentary American Factory for the Best Documentary Oscar award. The documentary will compete against four other stellar documentaries, including The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, and Honeyland, CNN reports. In two different social media posts, both Obama and our forever first lady Michelle announced their gratitude for the nomination while congratulations poured in from individuals across the world.
American Factory is an original documentary documented by the Obamas' production company Higher Ground Productions in partnership with online streaming giant Netflix. The documentary tells the story of a General Motors factory in Dayton, Ohio, and how it was shut down, affecting thousands of workers and the community at large. It has been received fairly well; American Factory has received incredible praise from critics and has a 96% approval rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes as well as a Metacritic score of 86 out of 100. Needless to say, to many, it comes as no surprise that the documentary was nominated in the first place.
In response to the nomination, Obama himself responded in a tweet, "[I am] glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary. It’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough and it’s exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground. Congrats to the incredible filmmakers and entire team!" Wife Michelle added, "I couldn’t be happier that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind American Factory have been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar. What Julia and Steve capture on film is at times painful, at times exhilarating, but always thoughtful and always real — exactly the kind of story Barack and I wanted to lift up with Higher Ground Productions. I hope you’ll see for yourself by checking it out on Netflix."
Bognar and Reichert too announced in a joint statement that they were "over the moon at today's news." The duo affirmed, "The fate of working people around the globe is under great pressure and duress, and we hope American Factory can give voice to their journey." The Obamas' documentary will now have to battle it out against similarly powerful documentaries The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, and Honeyland. All five documentaries nominated for Best Documentary Feature narrate stories of empowerment and have moved their audiences, so it goes without saying that the Academy will have a rather tough time deciding who should take home the highly coveted Oscar. The 2020 Academy Awards is set to take place soon, on February 9, 2020.
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