Obamas Appear At ‘Rustin’ Screening For HBCU First Look Film Festival

Obamas Appear At ‘Rustin’ Screening For HBCU First Look Film Festival

The Former First couple executively produced the biopic centering on the openly gay activist.

Barack and Michelle Obama made a rare appearance in support of their new film’s latest screening. The former first couple joined the opening night of Rustin at the HBCU First Look Film Festival on Nov. 10.

The Washington, D.C. affair filled with esteemed professionals in the film industry, as well as public figures in the social impact sphere. Rustin tells the story of Bayard Rustin, played by Euphoria actor Coleman Domingo, an openly gay man and social justice advocate who helped create the March on Washington. According to Blavity, the film is executively produced by the Obamas, as part of their production company Higher Ground.

At the showing, both political figures spoke about the importance of telling Rustin’s inspiring, yet relatively lesser-known, story.

“I know how easy it is to doubt who you are, to wonder if the way you look or where you’re from or who you love will leave you on the margins of the broader American story,” Mrs. Obama explained.

“But as you watch this movie, I want you to let Bayard Rustin’s example give you the strength to silence those doubts. Let his story remind you that no matter the complication, no matter the hardship, you can make history.”

Her husband shared similar sentiments, stating that although Rustin is lauded for his work in present day, the hardship felt during the civil rights movement and ongoing fight for gay rights is still one to recognize.

“No medal can change what happened to Bayard, and no film can ease the pain of generations of Americans who have faced discrimination because of who they are and who they love,” shared Obama, referring to Rustin’s posthumously awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

“But Michelle’s and my hope is that, by telling Bayard’s story, more people will appreciate leaders like him who brought America closer to its highest ideals – even though they weren’t in the limelight.”

The film is set to open in a limited theater release on Nov. 3, with its Netflix debut on Nov. 17. The trailer for the upcoming biopic, released in October, can be viewed below.