My Momma Says Obama A documentary film as we stand at the threshold of our American dream


My Momma Says Obama.

The story is being told through interviews with journalists, politicians, activists and everyday people.  
It is directed by Sam Pollard, whose award-winning documentaries "When The Levees Broke" and "Four Little Girls" have passionately told the stories of Hurricane Katrina and the brutality of racism in the deep south. Sam Pollard's reputation as a storyteller who finds authentic voices and gives clarity to their message is unmatched.  

My Momma Says Obama will contribute a voice of social empathy to both sides of the political spectrum and be a reminder of the altruism that once fired the 60’s generation.  And like John Lennon asking to give peace a chance, Marlon Brando, rejecting his Oscar in solidarity with the Native Americans at Wounded Knee, and Paul Newman’s, telling audiences not to see his movies in response to the war, we’re showing the bravery of famous and influential people to speak their mind even if it goes against the grain.  Our interviews are wide ranging and conversational making it hard to pigeonhole our interviewees in social stereotypes of what is “right”, and “left”.
We want to show both sides of debate to go beyond the media’s polarization of America and to more human territory.  Our conversations have covered subjects like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in which both sides can agree the death of young people is the country’s greatest tragedy.  I have been brought to tears in many of our interviews when discussing these things.  Like Paul Newman said regarding the Vietnam War, “if the great majority of Americans think they can slide through this one without feeling any affect from it then of course its going to continue.”

John Lennon said regarding the untapped power of the people, “the system is so geared for everyone to believe that the father will fix everything.  The government will fix everything.  Blame the government.  Shake your fist at the government.  But we are the government.”  The people put the politicians in power and it is telling of our generation that Barack Obama was elected.  Our film is inspired by Marlon Brando’s thoughtful remark on the Dick Cavett show in 1973, “The blacks would still be shuffling around picking peanuts dying and starving ...if they hadn’t made that noise if they hadn’t made that racket...  Someone tells us just be quiet, be calm, everything will right itself.  Everyone will get their just deserts but it never happens.”  These are central to the themes we are exploring in "My Momma Says Obama". 

As we see the reversal of the previous administration's policies, the promise made to Middle Class America of an American Dream is attainable again.  The hope that seemed lost has been restored and that special bond that Americans always felt they could make with the future is alive again. Norman Mailer said  “America is like a battered wife”.  Surely this generation are the "battered children" who grew up unwilling to trust government which stole their faith and confidence.  These are central to the themes we are exploring in "My Momma Says Obama". 

My Momma Says Obama is a documentary film which explores America's evolving social and political landscape in the aftermath of President Obama's election.  Beginning with the optimism that was ignited in many by the election, we follow the circle of hope that began with President Kennedy and aspires to completion with President Obama's inauguration. 

Many have described me as the female Michael Moore with a dash of Lucille Ball. I have two children and they are usually at my hip while I make phone calls and emails.  I am working passionately like Erin Brokovich, except I am not talking to people about the poison in their water.These parts of my life play an integral part in the narrative of the documentary.

Maggie Aliaga-Kelly

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