10 documentaries like Sidney you must watch

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: October 2, 2022 (Last updated: December 31, 2023)

This article discusses 10 documentaries like Sidney (2022) you must watch.

Sidney Poitier was a beloved actor and broke barriers early on in Hollywood. He was the first Black man to ever win an Oscar, and he would go on to create such an incredible legacy in the film community.

Sidney premiered at TIFF this September and is produced by Oprah Winfrey herself. This documentary is the real-life story of Sidney Poitier and has actors who have worked with him appear in the film. Anyone who has ever had the honor to speak to Sidney Poitier knows how special of a person he was.

The documentary being released after his death feels like a loving tribute to this trailblazer and incredibly talented man who graced the screen for many years. The following documentaries on this list have all highlighted important figures in the Entertainment industry who have had so much of their personal lives in the public eye for others to scrutinize. These films help contain their story and follow the truth of how they lived their lives.

Like For Like – 10 documentaries like Sidney you must watch

Lucy and Desi (2022) 

Two of the most iconic face in the early 60s built an empire based on their life together. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz form an unlikely partnership to become one of the most prolific power couples in Hollywood. Lucy and Desi, which is directed by Amy Poehler, highlights the highs and lows of working in this industry and the relationship between the two of them.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019)

Whenever there is never-before-scene footage about a musician’s process, it is always interesting to see how they started. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is an exploration of musician Miles Davis’ jazz story, featuring archival photos and never-before-scene footage. For jazz lovers, he became a staple for so many people in the genre and many learned from him as well.

Summer of Soul (2021) 

Summer of Soul won Quest Love’s first Oscar, and this documentary is one of the most unique compilations of artists to come together at a music festival. Over six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people attend the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music, and fashion. Quest Love perfectly assembles the pieces to a festival that seemed to be lost in history for others to be reintroduced to that sound.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) 

Documentaries mostly educate audiences about the artist that the filmmakers decide to focus on but in Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, Toni Morrison brings people together to explore the human condition with her viewers. She leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition. There are important conversations to be had and intimate moments shared in this film.

Quincy (2018)

Quincy Jones lead an extraordinary life and he is one of the most talented men in the music industry. Quincy is an intimate look at his life. He is an icon that has won 27 Grammys and has worked with so many wonderful people.

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021)

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and highlights the life of Rita Moreno. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Rita Moreno overcomes relentless racism to become an award-winning singer, actor, and dancer. She went through a lot in her career and she continued to push forward. There are deep secrets that Moreno reveals in this documentary to make this the most candid we’ve ever seen her.

Val (2019)

For years Val Kilmer has been flying under the radar but everyone remembers his early work and how wonderful of an actor he was. He didn’t get the roles he deserved, but in the ones, he did get he shined. Val centers on his daily life, featuring never before seen footage spanning over four decades. After watching this, fans of his can understand why he hasn’t been in the spotlight, which makes everyone cheer for him even more.

Bright Lights (2016)

On top of being two of the most incredible women whose careers have spanned almost five decades together, they were also the best mother/daughter dup in Hollywood. Bright Lights is an intimate portrait of the late Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, as they share a compound in what would be their final years together.

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé (2018)

Sometimes the older generation doesn’t want to label any artist in the 2000s an icon, but Beyoncé is that performer. This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé’s celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to a cultural movement. Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé shows how incredible of a person she is and how her mind works.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) 

Robin Williams is one of the most beloved actors ever and his talent knows no bounds. This man would make other people smile for a living, even if he didn’t feel the joy himself. It’s incredibly heartbreaking what happened to him. Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is told largely through Robin’s voice and using a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage, the film goes through the extraordinary life and career of Robin Williams.

Do you have any other recommendations for documentaries like Sidney? Let us know!

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