Netflix released the trailer for a new movie called Barry. The film details a young Barack Obama’s life as he navigated Columbia University during his junior year of college. The picture comes as the 44th president of the United States prepares to leave office after eight years of service.
The film is set to be released on December 16, says Elite Daily, and highlights Obama’s struggle to identify his purpose and place in the world as a 20-year-old college student in 1981.
The experiences the movie highlights are ones that proved pivotal for the future president’s development. They laid the foundation for his opinions on race, politics and what it means to be American. The film focuses on the would-be President’s formative years. In specific, Barry highlights the Obama’s transition from Occidental College, in L.A., to Columbia, where he transferred as a Junior, and where the film begins. The film chronicles the way young Obama is trying to maintain several increasingly strained relationships with his Kansas-born mother, Kenyan father, and his classmates.
“The film is rooted in the murky, drifting, sleep-late-and-get-stoned-and-do-whatever nature of college life that the movies almost never get right,” Variety’s Owen Gleiberman wrote. “This one does, and that’s one reason it feels bracingly authentic.”
Portraying the young Barrack Obama is Australian actor Devon Terrell. The role of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, is played by Ashley Judd.
The film premiered for the first time at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival and earned outstanding praises, Deadline reports. The supporting cast includes Jenna Elfman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Mitchell, Ellar Coltrane and Avi Nash.
Vikram Gandhi, known from HBO’s “Vice,” is the film’s director. Incidentally, he is also a graduate of Columbia University.
Gandhi reports that he heard stories of Obama’s exploits at the University when became a student there.
Gandhi approached fellow alumni Adam Mansbach who wrote the script.
Barry is produced by Cinetic Media’s Dana O’Keefe as well as Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman from Black Bear Pictures. This is the first movie production for Jon Sloss’ Cinetic. Following the film premiere, Netflix acquired its rights.
The film is being called “timely,” by people who have seen it. Some critics have even gone as far as to call the film a compelling story about race, identity, and blackness in America. While the film would have been moving at any time, it is particularly relevant right now, as President Obama prepares to leave the White House after two terms. In the next several years, the history of his presidency will begin to come to form, and supporters of the President claim that films and other public works such as Barry will help secure Obama’s legacy. Barry is the second feature film about President Barack Obama, with the first being Southside With You, which was released in August 2016, and featured the president’s first date with his future wife, US First Lady Michelle Obama, who was working as an attorney at a well-known Chicago law firm when the two met in 2989.