We’ve entered the twilight of Barack Obama’s stint in the White House, but after an eight-year run in office there’s a good chance that nobody will forget about him any time soon. That’s what Netflix is betting on with their bid to scoop up the Vikram Ghandi-directed biopic Barry.
Deadline is reporting that Netflix made a $4.5 million bid for the Toronto Film Festival darling that focuses on the college years of Barack Obama’s life, giving rare insight into his life before taking office. The film, starring Devon Terrell, takes place in New York City in 1981 as the young Obama finds his way in the big city.
What’s interesting is that most films about US presidents tend to focus on what happened while in office. Sure, background is important, but the big issues tend to be the focus. Films like Lincoln, Thirteen Days and JFK focused on what presidents had to deal with, what issues that they had to solve, but not really what made them the person that could run a country. This isn’t even the first Obama movie, as there was the strange visitation of Barack and Michelle’s romantic life in Southside With You. Barry instead focuses on Obama’s formative years, the struggles that made the man, not the struggles that the man dealt with head-on while in office.
Without a doubt, Obama faced struggles in office and had to make some tough decisions that both sides of the political aisle have found to be difficult to swallow, but maybe, in this case, the real story on Obama is from his youth. It’s not like the issue of his birth hasn’t been a national story on-and-off since his campaign in 2008, right? As our own Vince Mancini said about this movie, though, “it’s a movie for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t fit in, and maybe won’t ever.”