A new Obama biopic, “Southside With You,” is slated to explore Barack and Michelle’s beginnings in Chicago. The movie will focus on their first date around the city in 1989, a day that changed both of their lives forever. Tika Sumpter will play Michelle Obama (her maiden name is “Robinson”), and the role of Barack Obama has yet to be cast.
While the filming is set to begin in July in Chicago, there is a rich history of presidential movies gone by. From “Wilson” to “Sunrise At Campobello” to “The President’s Lady” and more, various presidents have been portrayed across the silver screen. Typically these movies are done after the current President’s tenure, sometimes as a reflection of a bygone era, and we will travel throughout the decades to see how such movies are received and how they could even shape a president’s legacy.
Are you excited to see a portrayal of the Obamas’ love story? Will this film have an impact on the President’s legacy, or will it be just another part of the cultural impact he leaves behind?
Julian Zelizer, Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the author of multiple books, including “Jimmy Carter” (Thorndike Press, 2010), and “The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment” (Princeton University Press, 2010)
Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC and Alt Film Guide
Henry Sheehan, film critic for KPCC and CriticsAGoGo.com