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Oprah, Cher Toast Sidney Poitier Apple Doc as “Memorial and Celebration of His Life”

“I just saw what I saw,” an older Sidney Poitier recalled in an interview of his childhood in the Bahamas when he grew up from Never seen mirrors – or water coming from indoor faucets – in new Apple TV+ documentary Sidney middle. Friday on the platform, directed by

Reginald Hudlin,

Oprah Wing Fury – produced a retrospective that exists not only as a summary of Poitiers’ remarkable career in Hollywood as an actor and filmmaker, but also of the seminal man who died in January The first public commemoration of the visionary 94.

Two The youngest son of a principled tomato grower, a prophet (correctly) predicts that in his time premature birth will touch every corner of the world, and Poitiers will continue to rise to the top; in 1963, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Lily

), first A black actor who won the lead role.

Wednesday night at the Academy Museum — home to the Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby — Apple hosted the premiere for -minute film, which premiered at TIFF earlier this month. Hudlin, Winfrey and producer Derik Murray join Poitier’s five daughters, along with actress Karen Sharpe (widow of the late director Stanley Kramer, who played Poitier The Defiant Ones and Guess who’s coming to dinner ) and Cher , who called the late star “an amazing person and one of the best actors of all time.”

An act of love,” Winfrey said when introducing the screening. “I’ve loved him since 94 years old and was able to be a part of sharing Part of how we see his vision – for the rest of the world to see him as we see him – is our dedication.

Before his death, Winfrey had completed a two-day interview with Poitier for OWN, and those eight hours became the focus of the documentary. The foundation, she shared.

“Our country has not publicly mourned him; there has been no public memorial service for him,” Winfrey continued. “So the film , in many ways, a memorial and celebration of his life. ”

on the stage , Beverly Poitier-Poitiers’ eldest son Henderson, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “A lot of people confuse actors with real people. In my father’s case, he chose roles that reflected his values. My sisters and I are very proud of him and he promised to make the world a better place than he found it. As a way of honoring him, she asked the audience to do the same.

Executive producer Kathryn Searle told The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Poitier’s family for the film “one of our greatest assets,” adding: “I think if they weren’t represented, we would be very sorry. The film also features poignant anecdotes from Hollywood heavyweights like Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Halle Berry and Barbra Streisand, as well as critics like the late Greg Tate But one particular moment from Morgan Freeman resonated most with Searle.

, he was trying to learn how to read. He was sitting in a cafe and this A young Jewish gentleman sat there reading with him every day. Freeman came in and said: In life, if you try, there will always be someone to help You cheer up. But if you don’t, you don’t get help. The whole combination of a scene always melts me.”

Hudlin points out Pois Jay’s dignity, courage and grace are qualities he remembers best, and he talks about how the film puts the actor and activist not only in Hollywood’s history but also into the future. “For truly great people, we have to tell this story again for every generation,” he told THR . “It’s important for us to remember his expansive life and all that he’s accomplished because he’s done so much.”

“His humanity That’s what the film conveys, and I think — and why I think he’ll be remembered,” said daughter Anika Poitier, who worked as a producer on the film and dug through warehouses to find the Various photos and videos of the project. “He was always so nice and kind to anyone who came up to talk to him. He loved people. He loved connecting with people and getting to know them. He would treat his best friend like a stranger on the street.”

Cheryl Lee Ralph, David Oyelowo, Loretta Devine, Colman Domingo and Dennis Haysbert also attended the film’s premiere, with Ralph declaring, “Mr. Sidney Poitier’s journey is something everyone should know about. It’s the American Dream.”

This documentary tells a challenging and occasionally lonely career in a rich and nuanced non-fiction narrative. In it, Winfrey shares memories of Poitiers encouraging her to become a black entertainer beloved by white audiences, nodding to his own struggles with the unfair burden of some sociologists — and A 2018 2018 The New York Times article says – “Sidney Poitier Syndrome: A Nice Guy in a Totally White World, No Wife, No Sweetheart, No Woman to Love or Kiss, Helping White People Solve White People’s Problems .” But it also explores his personal life, as well as passion (his nine-year public romance with actress Daehann Carroll) and activism (his on-again, off-again best friend) at the height of the civil rights movement Harry Belafonte (Navigate Together) sometimes derails.

“[The film] tells the history of Hollywood and its relationship to African Americans — or not,” shared Pamela Poitier . “My dad was a trailblazer in that sense, but he didn’t see himself as [one]. He just saw himself as someone who wanted to act.”

Executive producer Terry Wood, a longtime Winfrey’s collaborator, said she was a little nervous working on the project, which started from 2018 because She knew how special the film was to Winfrey. “You want to get every minute, every second of it done,” she said, adding: “[And] when you try to get it done, you get chills because you want him to see it. ”

2018

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