The cynical but important commentary of the Obama-produced film ‘Leave the World Behind’

The real eyebrow-raiser here is who produced it — former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. According to Esmail, the Obamas weren’t just superficial names in the credits — Barack had “a lot of notes” for the creator.

So what does the former president want to say about America with this film — and what does the film say about America? Frankly, it has a pretty low opinion of our culture and our communities, but there are some deeper commentaries too. Julia Roberts, who stars with Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali, starts the movie by surprising Hawke with an impromptu vacation to a Hamptons-like town. From her tony Brooklyn apartment, she stares out at the people walking by, thinking about how they all want to “make something of themselves, make something of the world,” before correcting herself. “Then I remembered what the world is actually like. And I came to a more accurate realization: I f—ing hate people.”

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