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SU18 Festival Film | Sammy Davis JR.: I Gotta Be Me

  • Trylon Cinema 2820 East 33rd Street Minneapolis, MN, 55406 United States (map)

Sound Unseen presents the MN Premier of Sam Pollard's Sammy Davis JR.: I Gotta Be Me.

Sponsored by Friedman/Iverson, PLLC & KFAI Radio

Screening date: Sat. November 11, 2017
Time: 7:15 PM
Venue: Trylon Cinema
Cost: $10 in advance / $12 at the door
Category: MN Premier
Run Time/Year/Country: 100 min, 2017, USA


A dancer, singer, impressionist, and actor of unparalleled charisma, Sammy Davis Jr. began dazzling audiences at age three and never stopped until his death at 64. A star of stage and screen and member of the legendary Rat Pack, he broke racial barriers but paid a heavy price for it. Defying societal norms concerning interracial romance, religion, and political affiliation, Davis courted controversy many times, but always with grace and honesty.

Filmmaker Sam Pollard has extensive experience covering Black America. An accomplished editor and a long-time collaborator with Spike Lee, his directing credits include Slavery by Another Name and episodes of Eyes on the Prize II. His portrayal of Davis captures the high-wire-act tension that typified the performer's life. Davis inspired African Americans with his showbiz successes and his alignment with Martin Luther King; he also baffled progressive admirers by campaigning for Nixon and going to Vietnam. He was a performer and a patriot, and as devoted to Judaism as he was to entertainment. For the uninitiated, who mainly think of Davis as the singer of "The Candy Man" and the butt of Rat Pack jokes, this film reveals the complexities of his career.