WATCH: Apple Drops First Look at New Sidney Poitier Documentary ‘Sidney’

by Taylor Cunningham

Apple TV+ had finally debuted a sneak peek at its much-anticipated documentary Sidney, which details the life of film great Sidney Poitier.

The movie comes from the minds of producer and narrator Oprah Winfrey and director Reginald Hudlin, both of who worked closely with Poitier’s family during the project. In Sidney, the two pay tribute to Poitier for his work in acting, filmmaking, and activism. The documentary features interviews with Spike Lee, Lenny Kravits, Denzel Washington, Robert Redford, and more.

As the trailer shares, Sidney Poitier grew up in the Bahamas in the 1920s. At the time, he lived without electricity and running water and knew nothing of the world outside of his home on Cat Island. He also had no idea what he looked like—or even thought to care. Because as a child, he had never seen or heard of a mirror.

When he immigrated to the United States in 1942, just as the Civil Rights Movement was begining, his entire concept of self-identity changed. And as he moved into his now iconic career in Hollywood, he refused to play the typical “disrespectful” parts offered to him as an African American. By standing his ground, he changed the industry.

“I don’t think Sidney ever played a subservient part,” Morgan Freeman says in the clip.

Apple+’s Sidney Poitier Documentary Debuts This Fall

Sidney Poitier made history in 1959 by becoming the first black man to ever earn an Oscar nod. Then in 1964, Poitier once again made history by becoming the first black man to win an Oscar. The trophy came for his Best Leading Role in Lilies of the Field.

The documentary will also highlight Poitier’s heavy involvement in The Civil Rights Movement, which led him to be appointed as the ambassador from the Bahamas to Japan, a position he held from 1997 until 2007. And it will also showcase his personal life. Sidney Poitier married twice, and he had six children, including True Crime actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier.

“My life has had more than a few wonderful, indescribable turns,” Poitier says in the footage. ” And I have lived them.”

The actor passed away on January 6, 2022, at the age of 94.

Network Entertainment and Winfrey’s Harpo Productions helped bring the documentary to life with writer Jesse James. Poitier’s widow, Joanna Shimkus Poitier, and their daughter, Anika, serve as executive producers. They’re joined by Brian Gersh, Paul Gertz, and Reginald Hudlin.

Sidney premieres in select theaters and globally on the Apple streaming service on Friday, September 23.