Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Barry: And The Wonder Years of Barack Obama

By José Alberto Hermosillo,
Copyrights Netflix
Eclectic and fun to watch, “Barry” vividly shows the early days in the life of former U.S. President Barack Obama, his struggle, and his conflict of identity. 

Set during the 1980s, Barack or 
Barry, as his friends called him, arrives at the Big Apple to attend college.


Feeling uneasy, the first images that Barry captures in the streets are the profound differences in American society. His views over Whites and Blacks, in politics, and religion, radicalized.
Copyrights Netflix
Barry gets into an argument with a white classmate over why Afro-Americans relate everything to slavery, in his first-class. Both young men take it personally.

Copyrights Netflix
Trying to blend in, Barry plays hoops with the “boys from the hood,” who called him Invisible and Zero.” 

At this point, he starts learning the needs of young Americans for a better life. He likes to go out to the parties to meet girls, smoke marijuana, and have fun like any regular guy of his age. He goes to the school's rooftop to enjoy the view, relax and thinks about his future, while he smokes some more and hears his favorite music.

At that time, he starts dating a wealthy white girl who shows him the side of people with power.

"Barry" is a well-documented work of fiction written by Adam Mansbach.
 However, this is not a faithful biopic because of its literary liberties.

The writer went out to the streets to interview Obama's roommates, former girlfriends, and other people who knew him.

“Barry” has some technical issues, but it is worth viewing.

The editing is uneven. The transitions are neither smooth nor artistic. A film based on the life of a U.S. President deserves a more formal and symbolic film.

The story focuses on the fun times rather than in the ideological influences that shaped the leader's personality. 

The lack of meaning in this independent feature makes us think “The Lion King” is more politically correct than this Obama's biopic.
Copyrights Netflix
Australian actor Devon Terrell plays exceptionally well young Barack Obama. Terrell is charismatic and charming. Yet, his character of a confused teenager trying to find himself and a congruent ideology is soft on the page.

Barry's mother (Ashley Judd) places the sentimental note by saying, "The world is a big place; you will find your way. 

The film has some essential and stimulating cultural references, such as “Black Orpheus," an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Also, there is an allusion to several other books such as “The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison and “Dreams from my Father,” written by Barak Obama himself.

Other great movies showing the richness of the Afro-American experience this year are “Hidden Figures,” “Loving,” “Fences,” “Moonlight,” and “Kicks.”


In “Barry,” we meet a young man in need of finding himself to fulfill his destiny. It doesn't have any kind of sentimentalism or nostalgia. It is more about those fun moments that make life go by smoothly. 

After all, life is a beautiful struggle. 

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