The announcement that “Barry,” the second independent film with the young Barack Obama as the central character, has found a distributor has proven that even though the president has demonstrably failed to repair the American economy, he has created a new cottage industry in small budget Movies. “Barry” finds the president to be in his first year at Columbia University struggling with issues of his racial identity and wondering how he fits in the vast scheme of things. Ashley Judd plays his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was more interested in her anthropology research than being a mother to her son.

Newcomer Devon Terrell plays young Obama. Vikram Gandhi directed.

“Barry” will be inevitably compared to the other hagiographic Obama movie, “Southside with You,” which related the first date between the future president and future first lady, Michelle Robinson. The movie only made about $6 million during its brief run which would be a failure except for the fact that it only had a $1.5 million budget. Therefore it was profitable.

“Barry” has gotten good reviews thanks to a showing at the Toronto Film Festival and should find a similarly small but enthusiastic audience as did “Southside with You.” The subject is certainly a fascinating one, even leaving aside the fact that he became president.

The product of a union between a white, radical American academic and a drunk, dissolute man from Kenya who was virtually abandoned by both parents and raised primarily outside North America would be a great subject for any movie.

Of course, neither film would likely have been made had not the main character became president.

That fact gives rise to the question, why Obama, who is by any standard a failure as a president, albeit one who is going out with a respectable 50 percent approval rating? Far greater presidents (Reagan comes to mind) had not created a body of work by indie filmmakers even before they left office. However, a larger budget film about the Gipper is in the works which will depict his life through the eyes of a KGB observer.

In any case, a big budget movie about the Obama presidency is not likely to be very successful or even attempted. Oliver Stone, whose latest movie “Snowden,” is tanking at the box office, expressed contempt for the current president recently, suggesting that he was no better if not worse than Bush for his use of targeted assassinations abroad and broad surveillance at home. Stone, who was done George W. Bush and Richard Nixon on the big screen, might be moved to do Obama next, which would be fascinating to watch.

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