"My life has had more than a few wonderful, indescribable turns."
So reflects Sidney Poitier in the trailer for Sidney, a documentary that looks back on the legendary actor and activist's life and legacy through interviews with Poitier himself, as well as those that he influenced, inspired and otherwise impacted: Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Spike Lee, and more.
The film traces Poitier's life's story from his childhood in the Bahamas to Hollywood, where he came to fame against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. "There was a habit in Hollywood of utilizing Blacks in the most disrespectful ways, and I said, 'I cannot play that,'" Poitier says in the trailer. Instead, he starred in such films as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, In The Heat of the Night, and To Sir, With Love.
Poitier, who died earlier this year at age 94, became the first Black performer to be Oscar nominated for Best Actor with 1958's The Defiant Ones. In 1964, he became the first Black actor to win the Oscar, for his performance in Lilies of the Field. (The Academy also bestowed upon Poitier an Honorary Oscar in 2002.)
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Reginald Hudlin directs, with Derik Murray and Oprah Winfrey producing. (Winfrey also appears on camera in interview.) The documentary was made in close collaboration with the Poitier family.
Sidney is streaming on Apple TV+ on Sept. 23. Watch the trailer below.