The clip takes the form of a sit down between the former President and First Lady, and Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, the directors of “American Factory,” a documentary which represents the first release to come out of Higher Grounds, launched in partnership with the streamer.
“We all have a sacred story in us, right? A story that gives us meaning and purpose and how we organize our lives,” says President Obama in the clip. “A good story is a good story. If it’s a documentary like yours or if it’s a scripted story that helps people understand something they didn’t understand before, we want to see if we can give voice to it.”
“Higher Ground is a reflection of both of us. That means that our platform is going to look a little bit like everyhting,” adds Michelle Obama.
“American Factory” was acquired by Netflix in association with Higher Ground Productions out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the directing award for U.S. documentary.
The doc hails from Participant Media and takes a deep dive into post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires 2,000 blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America. Bognar and Reichert also produe the doc alongside Jeff Reichert, and Julie Parker Benello.
The Obamas unveiled their Higher Ground slate back in April, featuring a mix of dramas, docs and family programming.