This cable-television biography about the life of Illinois senator Barack Obama was made before he began campaigning to be the Democratic party’s candidate for the 2008 presidential race. Still, the program suggests Obama has one or another kind of profound, American destiny as a mixed-race activist who never comfortably fit into one or another group, and had to look deep into his own roots to understand his identity.
The son of a white American mother and black Kenyan father, Obama was abandoned by the latter when he returned to his native country to work for its improvement. Raised by his mother-whom Obama credits with teaching him many of his values – and his grandmother, Obama lived in Hawaii as a child but moved to Indonesia for a few years when his mom remarried. There, Obama saw cyclical poverty and the underlying factors that perpetuate it before returning to Hawaii. Interviews with childhood friends and his sister describe Obama’s restlessness before attending Harvard law school and propelling himself into a life of public service and community activism.
Often accused of lacking enough political experience to qualify him for the White House, Obama comes across in this show as a visionary and experienced consensus-builder who can reach across opposing points of view.