Vikram Gandhi's Barry, now streaming on Netflix, is a coming-of-age story about a 20-year-old biracial man coming to terms with his identity. That man, of course, goes on to become Barack Obama, though Gandhi ensures Fast Company's Co.Create that he "wasn't interested in making a movie about the president, or a political movie."
"This is, in a weird way, a superhero origin story," he continues. "When you think about superheroes, what every character has is a deep secret that alienates them from the world and makes their life difficult, and they have to make a choice: are they going to go and fix the world or go into isolation? And they struggle with that their whole life. And so in a lot of ways, this is like the creation myth of a superhero. For Barack Obama, the alienation of coming from such a diverse background, and holding in torments of figuring out where he belongs, and the secret is not knowing his father. In his memoir, and in memoirs of other people who knew him at that period, he talks about living like a monk, and isolating himself a lot from regular campus life. So there's a lot of similarities between the way a superhero is portrayed in his origin story and the way that he's portrayed here. We just don't see the epic proportions."
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