Barack Obama Picks His Favorite 2018 Movies, and 60 Percent Have Nonwhite Directors

Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and “I Like It” by Cardi B were among former president’s favorites books and songs of the year

Last Updated: December 31, 2018 @ 7:54 AM

Barack Obama continues to be America’s pop culture president. On Friday, Obama shared his list of his 15 favorite movies of 2018, which featured nine directors who are nonwhite.

Those directors include Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”),  Bing Liu (“Minding the Gap”) Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”), Lee Chang-dong (“Burning”), Chloé Zhao (“The Rider”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”), Carlos Lopez Estrada (“Blindspotting”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”).

Obama also listed his favorite books and songs of the year.

“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved,” Obama wrote on Instagram.

Obama also shouted out his wife Michelle’s new biography, “Becoming,” in his list of favorite books and his list of songs was an eclectic mix across multiple genres.

Here are Obama’s lists in full below:

Favorite Movies of 2018:

“Annihilation”
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Blindspotting”
“Burning”
“The Death of Stalin”
“Eighth Grade”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Leave No Trace”
“Minding the Gap”
“The Rider”
“Roma”
“Shoplifters”
“Support the Girls”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Favorite Books of 2018:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die” by Keith Payne
“Educated” by Tara Westover
“Factfulness” by Hans Rosling
“Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging” by Alex Wagner
“A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
“A House for Mr Biswas” by V.S. Naipaul
“How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
“In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History” by Mitch Landrieu
“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
“The New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti
“The Return” by Hisham Matar
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje
“Why Liberalism Failed” by Patrick Deneen
“The World As It Is” by Ben Rhodes
“American Prison” by Shane Bauer
“Arthur Ashe: A Life” by Raymond Arsenault
“Asymmetry” by Lisa Halliday
“Feel Free” by Zadie Smith
“Florida” by Lauren Groff
“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight
“Immigrant, Montana” by Amitava Kumar
“The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” by Denis Johnson
“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark
“There There” by Tommy Orange
“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

Favorite Songs of 2018:

“Apeshit” by The Carters
“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges
“Could’ve Been by H.E.R.” (feat. Bryson Tiller)
“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
“Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess
“Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde
“Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole
“King For A Day” by Anderson East
“Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
“Mary Don’t You Weep” (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince
“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)
“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett
“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara
“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile
“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid
“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron
“Wow Freestyle “by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: “The Great American Songbook” by Nancy Wilson

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