"Michelle and the girls are on their way to China. It's very lonely at home, so nothing better than to see an inspiring film," Obama said.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing a chronicled life of one of my heroes and one of the people who inspired me to get into the work that I've gotten into," he said.
This week, first lady Michelle and her two daughters are travelling to China for an official visit.
During her trip, the first lady will meet with students at the Stanford Center at Peking University, Beijing Normal School, and Chengdu No 7 High School to discuss the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.
She will also visit historical and cultural sites, from the Great Wall to the Terra Cotta Warriors.