UVA : Culbreth Theatre
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Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me2017. USA. 100 min.
Director: Sam Pollard Featuring: Sammy Davis Jr., Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg.
Sammy Davis, Jr.’s career was so vast and multi-faceted that it was dizzying in its scope and scale. The entertainer strove to achieve the American Dream and shape his identity in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. Few know that before the civil rights era, he risked his career by imitating white celebrities, or that he started his career in blackface. Davis was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to yet another persecuted minority. The documentary is the story of his life as it blazed across the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression through the 1980s, incorporating interviews from numerous beloved icons.