Obama-produced film team gives shout out to Communist Manifesto in Oscar acceptance speech

Screengrab ABC

Given the deity status Barack and Michelle Obama command on the left, it was of little surprise that the very liberal movie industry would recognize their newfound careers at Netflix.

The Obamas production company, Higher Ground, won its first Oscar Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards, for the film “American Factory” — the film was awarded for best feature-length documentary.

From directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, the documentary is about an Ohio auto glass factory reopened by Chinese industrialist Cao Dewang, who is a billionaire. The film focuses on rights of workers, globalization and automation, Fox News noted, culminating in a bitter fight over the right to unionize.

(Dewang was reportedly unable to leave China to attend Sunday night’s awards show because of travel restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.)

In the acceptance speech, Reichert appeared to give a little love to Karl Marx, who co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” with Friedrich Engels.

“Our film is from Ohio and China,” the co-director said, emphasizing China. “But it really could be from anywhere that 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,” Reichert then proclaimed.


The only thing missing was the infamous chant from left-wing labor unions, “We are the union, the mighty, mighty union.”

The slogan “Workers of the world, unite!” is one of the most famous quotes from The Communist Manifesto — a variation of the phrase is inscribed on Marx’s tombstone: “Workers of all lands, unite.”

Reichert and Bognar explained backstage why the Obamas were drawn to their film.

“They felt it could help. People listen to each other, and through these stories, create empathy, which then builds relationships,” they said.

Reichert is battling terminal urothelial cancer, or bladder cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment, which explains her shaved head.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted his congratulations.

“Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” he tweeted. “Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.”

Michelle Obama also shared a tweet on the film being awarded an Oscar.

“So glad to see their heart and honesty recognized—because the best stories are rarely tidy or perfect. But that’s where the truth so often lies,” the former first lady said.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:


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