Monday, December 12, 2016

Think I'll Skip This One (On Netflix)

It's brand new--and sounds ghastly:
Told through a series of anecdotal moments dotting the college days of the 44th President of the United States, Barry is more of a coming-of-age story than Southside With You, writer-director Richard Tanne's nostalgic journey through a day in the life of young Barack and Michelle Obama. Australian actor Devon Terell plays the titular Barry with a surprising amount of depth and persuasion, rolling with the punches as he searches for identity between the Columbia classroom and the Harlem projects. As he does, he juggles the privileges and responsibilities that come with dating a white woman. Because of this, the film makes for a skillful examination of a bi-racial America and cultural identity as a whole - the fact that the film is a non-fiction piece about a future president just makes it even more striking and relatable.
Er, no it doesn't. 

Update: Not so striking and relatable is the fact that the "white woman" in Obama's autobiography was kind of, well, fictional (my bolds):
David Maraniss of The Washington Post was another reporter flying all over the world trying to separate the real Obama from the phony memoir of Dreams -- but in the friendliest possible way. Maraniss told Vanity Fair that Obama's memoir had value despite its pack of lies: "I say that his memoir is a remarkably insightful exploration of his internal struggle, but should not be read as rigorous factual history. It is not, and the president knew that when he wrote it and knows it now."  
This was a bombshell. Maraniss had spent months exploring Obama's past and held a prestigious editor's post at the dominant paper in the nation's capital, and was overseeing campaign coverage as Obama faced a difficult re-election. But the bombshell never exploded. 
In mid-June, his book Barack Obama: The Story came out. On June 5, deep inside the paper, New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani noticed several factual problems with Obama's memoir. She called the book a "forensic deconstruction" of Obama. 
For example, Obama wrote about "a woman in New York that I loved." But while the physical description of this character closely resembles a white Obama girlfriend named Genevieve Cook, Maraniss wrote Obama "distorted her attitudes and some of their experiences, emphasizing his sense that they came from different worlds." 
Maraniss relayed that during an interview at the White House on November 10, 2011, Obama acknowledged his description of his New York girlfriend was actually a "compression" of events "that occurred at separate times with several different girlfriends." 
Obama didn't just dump his old girlfriends. He then added insult to injury by blurring them into a fictional composite. If a memoir can't be honest about something as trivial as " a women in New York that I loved," how can it be considered accurate with matters that are profound?...
Accurate, shmaccurate. As long as it's "striking and relatable," who cares if it's really just a pack of lies? 

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