Wow. Wow. Wow. This trailer for Sidney Poitier documentary Sidney is as powerful as he was. Is it weird to call a trailer a tour de force? Yes? Fine. Let’s be weird, because this thing is a TDF. Hopefully the doc, which hits Apple+ on September 23rd lives up to this hype.
Directed by Reginald Hudlin (Marshall, The Black Godfather), and featuring an incomprehensible list of famous talking heads, the film tells the life story of the actor who grew up in a shack without electricity to become a tectonic force in American culture during a period of immense upheaval. Poitier won the Oscar for Lilies of the Field and became the world’s biggest box office draw following In The Heat of the Night and Look Who’s Coming To Dinner in the late 1960s — both of which dealt directly with deep-seated racism and changing attitudes. He was consistently a pioneer, with “First Black man to…” etched multiple times throughout his biography. As President Barack Obama said while honoring Poitier with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the actor “opened doors for a generation of actors.”
Those honoring him in the Oprah-produced documentary include Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, and many, many more. Plus, we get to hear from Poitier himself, which will be bittersweet following his death in January of this year. Fortunately, this documentary looks like a worthy celebration.