'Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union' Trailer: HBO Documentary Miniseries Charts the Career of Barack Obama

'Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union' Trailer: HBO Documentary Miniseries Charts the Career of Barack Obama

Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, a three-part HBO original documentary directed by Peter Kunhardt, is set to begin airing on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. To get you ready for this event, the network has released a trailer, which you can see below.

Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union Trailer

They say it’s not polite to talk about politics or religion at the dinner table and the same rule probably applies to movie news websites. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that roughly 50% of the U.S. population, at least, might have been feeling somewhat nostalgic or appreciative of Barack Obama‘s presidency during the Donald Trump years.

Your mileage may vary about which were the good or bad old days, but one thing we can all agree on is that both presidents have been media-savvy. Obama was the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show (Fortune once called him “the late-night comedy president”), and as recently as last year, we saw him release a list of his favorite movies and TV shows to the general public. He and former First Lady Michelle Obama also have a multi-year deal with Netflix, producing content like Crip Camp.

Trump, of course, hosted the NBC reality show, The Apprentice, and wielded Twitter like a blunt instrument before having his account suspended.

Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union will give the 44th U.S. President a chance to burnish his legacy on HBO. The miniseries will air over the course of three nights (9:00-10:40 P.M. ET/PT) from Tuesday, August 3, to Thursday, August 5, 2021. The trailer above gives a glimpse of some of the talking heads you can see in this documentary series.

Among them is Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer of the upcoming Superman film reboot. “Obama gets flak,” he says in the trailer, “for the first Black presidency only being symbolic. But people underrate the value of symbols.”

The production notes also tease an appearance by Keegan-Michael Key, who appeared as Obama’s “anger translator,” Luther, both in Key & Peele (with Jordan Peele as Obama) and at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with the real Obama.

A “Post-Racial Society”

When Obama won the 2008 presidential election, people were literally dancing in the streets. To many, he was the red, white, and blue face of “Hope,” and it wasn’t long before you would hear terms like “post-racial society” popping up in The New Yorker. As noted by one commentator in the above trailer, there were people at Obama’s political rallies, “chanting, ‘Race doesn’t matter.’ That was more of a hope than a reality.”

Soon, the honeymoon was over, with even the usual peanut gallery of supportive Hollywood actors (and occasional whitesplainers) like Matt Damon speaking out against the rock-star president, saying he “misinterpreted his mandate” on issues like poverty and Afghanistan. It’s race, however, that Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union leans into as a defining aspect of Obama’s presidency.

Here’s the official logline for Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union:

OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION … chronicles the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama, as the country grapples with its racial history. Weaving together conversations with colleagues, friends and critics, and interspersed with his own speeches and news interviews, the series begins with Obama’s childhood and takes us through his perspective as the son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father, his spiritual formation by a generation of Black leaders, and his hopes for a more inclusive America. Through the story of one man irrevocably bound to the history of a country, OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION reflects on the country’s past and present national identity.

Mark your calendars for August 3, 2021, when Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union premieres on HBO. The documentary will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

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