‘Sidney’ is a Beautiful Retrospective of Oscar Winner Sidney Poitier

Synopsis: Follow the real-life story of Sidney Poitier, the 1964 Oscar winner.
Director: Reginald Hudlin

Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, AL Pacino, Denzel Washington, and Julia Roberts are all ‘big-time’ movie stars. Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, and Tyler Perry are icons. Do you know what they all have in common? They would all agree that Sidney Poitier left them in awe.

To refer to Mr. Poitier as an icon would be like saying Michael Jordan was an ok basketball player or Mark Zuckerberg had a decent idea. Mr. Poitier single handily changed the landscape of an industry. The new documentary Sidney does a fantastic job of focussing on his career.

Watching Sidney from a 2022 point of view may make it easy to forget the obstacles and barriers that Mr. Poitier dealt with. In 2022 interracial relationships are common, but in the ’60s, a film like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was a huge cinematic moment where his character was introduced to his girlfriend’s white parents.

Poitier portrayed characters the industry wasn’t accustomed to. He wasn’t playing a drug dealer or a janitor but roles that Black people usually weren’t given. The term ‘ground breaker’ was never more appropriate.

The film includes commentary from Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, one of the film's producers, and many more. As a huge fan of Mr. Poitier, I was familiar with many of the situations discussed in the film, but there were things that I learned.  

Expect to be captivated by both the person and the film.

Hudlin has done an impressive job capturing the essence of Sidney Poitier by looking at his career and who he was from a multitude of points of view. He has included commentary from filmmakers and family members and touched on special moments throughout Poitier’s life and career.

This film is a must-see and a beautiful retrospective of an incredible human being.

Grade: B

Watch the movie trailer: