For the political novice just now poking his head into a presidential contest which may just decide the fate of humanity, Barack Obama from the Biography Channel is a decent primer on the man who may be the last, best hope for this wretched nation.

In simple chronological fashion, it documents events in Obama’s life that were most formative; how at a young age he moved with his mother to Indonesia where he attended school with the locals and encountered extreme poverty on a daily basis. We follow him in high school where he grapples with questions of identity and what it means to be “black” in America.

It goes on to tell of his experiences in Africa and his early political career. The film interviews his sister, his brother-in-law and some former professors. Each of them attests to remarkable qualities of intelligence and integrity, which they say the man possesses in spades, so that the film seems like a campaign ad at times.

For those viewers who are already following the campaign, the biography may disappoint, as it offers very little that has not already been said.

Grade: B

Biography – Barack Obama is currently available. Stay tuned for the review of Biography – John McCain next week.