‘Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union’ explores path, legacy of 44th president

Political Theater, Episode 212

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. A new HBO documentary explores the formative years and legacy of the 44th president.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. A new HBO documentary explores the formative years and legacy of the 44th president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Jason Dick
Posted August 4, 2021 at 8:00am

The HBO documentary series “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union” arrives at a tumultuous time in American politics. It explores the formative years and presidency of Barack Obama, an era that seems both far away and contemporary, with race relations continuing to define the public sphere.

The three-part series premiered Tuesday on HBO and HBO Max, just in time for Obama’s 60th birthday this week on Aug. 4.

As part of the American Film Institute’s AFI DOCS documentary film festival, Political Theater host Jason Dick moderated a post-screening discussion with Peter Kunhardt, the director and producer of the series, and Jelani Cobb, staff writer for The New Yorker and also a producer and contributor to the series, as well as one of the country’s prominent journalists covering race, culture and politics.

Interview contents: AFI DOCS copyright 2021, courtesy of American Film Institute.