5.8/10
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36 user 30 critic
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
A look into the early life of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Director:

Vikram Gandhi

Writer:

Adam Mansbach
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Devon Terrell ... Barry
Anya Taylor-Joy ... Charlotte
Jason Mitchell ... PJ
Ellar Coltrane ... Will
Jenna Elfman ... Kathy Baughman
Linus Roache ... Bill Baughman
Avi Nash ... Saleem
John Benjamin Hickey ... Professor Gray
Ashley Judd ... Ann Dunham
Sawyer Pierce Sawyer Pierce ... Thad
Eric Berryman Eric Berryman ... Ali
Ralph Rodriguez ... Andre
Danny Henriquez Danny Henriquez ... Milton
Tessa Albertson ... Tina
Tommy Nelson ... Buzz
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Storyline

A look at the early life of Barack Obama. Before he became President of the United States, he was one of the few black students at Columbia University NY in the early 80's. Faced with judgmental and racist opinions all around him, he tries to find his place in the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before he was Barack, he was...

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

16 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thời Niên Thiếu Của Barack Obama See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut feature film of actor Devon Terrell who portrays the young Barack Obama. See more »

Goofs

Barry is seen wearing a Casio F91W watch throughout the movie. The movie is set in the early 1980's, but that model watch wasn't released until 1991. See more »

Quotes

James Boggs: You take the baton from the ones who've come before you, and you carry it as far as you can. And then you hand it off
Grace Lee Boggs: That's life. A beautiful struggle.
See more »


Soundtracks

2001 Kazoo's
Written by Tony Pearson
Performed by Mr. Magic
Courtesy of Now-Again Records, LLC
Under license from Tony Pearson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good story about biracial Americans that has almost nothing to do with Barack Obama
16 August 2018 | by Scott27See all my reviews

This film had important themes about being biracial in America, now or in the 1980's, but having Barack "Barry" Obama was detrimental (for me, at least).

The director said in an interview that the idea was to "accurately tell the story of a mixed-race kid in New York in 1981 that would one day become the 44th President of the United States," yet the latter part of that idea is non-existent in the film. It's just an accurate story about a mixed-race kid in New York in 1981 and that's it. I have no idea why Barack Obama is the main character of this film other than that he happens to be biracial. Any other detail specific to Barry is irrelevant to the story. You could have made this about a fictional biracial person named Darryl and it would have been exactly the same movie.

I found this confounding, because "Barry" IS the main character. And it was marketed as being about a young Barack Obama, which comes with certain expectations of seeing something that relates to the Obama we know - elements you would find in any other biopic - that are nowhere to be found. At best, you could make the argument that these experiences shaped the way he sees race in America, but there's nothing in the film to suggest that it did, which is even more confounding.

Had the main character been someone else, the theme of finding out where you belong would have made this a good film - competent acting, good dialogue and secondary characters. Everything was there, but setting the expectation of an Obama biopic and not delivering on that promise just left me disappointed.

If you're interested in seeing the film purely for that theme, you'll probably enjoy it.

If you're looking to learn about Barack Obama's college years, you'll be disappointed.


16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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