'American Factory,' documentary backed by Obamas' production company, wins Oscar

Key Points
  • "American Factory" won the Oscar for best documentary on Sunday.
  • It is the first release from Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground Productions.
(L-R) Julia Reichert, Lindsay Utz, Steven Bognar, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello accept the Documentary - Feature - award for 'American Factory' onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter

Barack and Michelle Obama's production company scored an Oscar win on Sunday for "American Factory," a documentary that chronicled what happened to workers when a Chinese billionaire purchased a manufacturing plant in the U.S. Midwest.

"American Factory" is the first release from their company Higher Ground Productions, which the former U.S. president and first lady founded in 2018. In that same year, they announced a multiyear deal to supply content to streaming service Netflix.

"Our film is from Ohio and China. Go Buckeyes!" Julia Reichert, an American documentary filmmaker who worked on the film, said during her acceptance speech Sunday. "But it really could be from anywhere where people put on a uniform, punch a clock, trying to make their families have a better life. Working people have it harder and harder these days and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite."

"American Factory" follows the lives of thousands of workers who were laid off from their auto jobs in Moraine, Ohio, in the 2008 recession. Some of those workers were hired six years later by Chinese company Fuyao Glass America to make automotive glass in the same plant."