Chicago Film Festival – Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me.

Sam Pollard’s documentary, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me is the first major documentary to spotlight the life of the late Rat Pack member.

The documentary features interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, among others, including Nixon staffers such as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  We are treated to never-before seen photos as well as numerous clips from Davis’ career.

For someone such as Davis, it’s beyond crazy to think that there’s yet to be a documentary on the iconic figure who blazed through intersections long before intersectionality was even considered to be a thing.  Davis was a person of color, Puerto Ricon, Jewish, married to a white woman, and a Nixon supporter.  Even has he yearned for the American Dream, he still had to deal with the prejudice that came his way.

Without a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, it’s possible that we’d still be waiting for a documentary.

Produced by American Masters Pictures and screening under the Documentary and Black Perspectives categories of the Chicago International Film Festival, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me will screen on Monday, October 16, at 8:15 PM.  An encore screening will take place on Friday, October 20, at 5:30 PM.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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