Directed by: Reginald Hudlin
Distributed by: Apple TV+

Written by Alexander Reams


There is little argument that Sidney Poitier is one of the greatest actors of all time. From his iconic turn in “In the Heat of the Night,” to the somewhat forgotten “The Defiant Ones,” he’s always been an actor on his A-game. His legacy has been turned into a documentary on his life featuring veteran actors and directors, including Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, and Spike Lee, to name a few. This begs the question- “Where did this all go wrong?” 

From the somewhat poignant opening where Poitier narrates his upbringing, it begins its path on the paint-by-numbers trail that director Reginald Hudlin (“Marshall,” “The Black Godfather”) follows up until the credits. Poitier is a legend and there is no denying that, but there is a lot of his life that is not talked about and this is supposed to be warts and all, but it never goes deep enough. Hudlin only gives the people that he hurt minimal screen time, and always circles back to Poitier being a legend. This oversight by Hudlin is surprising, given his extensive filmography, and unfortunately a blight on the legacy of Poitier. Acknowledge his mistakes but still keep respect for the artist, his work during the 1960s opened doors for people of color when those doors wouldn’t dare be opened. Without Poitier, Hollywood might not look like it does today, and seeing his legacy in a middling documentary that only holds on to his legacy, not his life is a shame, but after all, this is Hollywood.

“Sidney” Trailer

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