A documentary about an Ohio auto glass factory that is run by a Chinese investor debuted Wednesday on Netflix as the streaming service’s first project backed by Michelle and Barack Obama’s new production company.
Filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert said they learned of the Obamas’ interest after American Factory was shown at the Sundance film festival and they were pitching the film to Netflix. They were told the Obamas had screened it days earlier.
They’re ecstatic about the support and in an interview Wednesday, were quick to dissuade anyone from the idea that the film is delivering a message either for or against any politician.
“They got what we were trying to do, which is to tell a story that sort of transcends the year-to-year politics,” Bognar said.
Bognar and Julia Reichert, who live in the Dayton, Ohio, area where Fuyao Glass replaced an abandoned General Motors plant, said they were initially interested in exploring a culture clash, but the film deepened into a story about the rights of workers, globalization and automation.
Barack and I want to help more people see their own story in someone else’s. It’s why we started Higher Ground Productions, and it’s what we talked about with Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, who directed @afactoryfilm. Check out their documentary, now streaming on @Netflix. https://t.co/8xjX7t9HL4
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 21, 2019