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Sidney's Chair (1995)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

East London, 1967. Twelve-year-old Ricci Owobe and his friend Mina are inseparable. One day they hear that a coloured American named Sidney Poitier is in their neighbourhood shooting a movie with famous star Lulu. The kids of the neighbourhood converge on the film set, begging for autographs and getting under the feet of the production staff.

Ricci and Mina steal Poitier's personalised chair and take it to their den in the forest. When they hear someone approach, they hide. The person turns out to be Gabriel, the local tramp, who picks up the chair. Ricci confronts Gabriel and demands the chair back.

Ricci takes the chair home, where it is discovered by his mother, Angela, and father, Obe. Ricci is reprimanded and sent to bed. Later, when Angela tries to comfort Ricci, he reveals that he is bothered by the darkness of his skin.

One day, as Ricci goes to buy ice cream, he is almost run over by a car. The driver is shaken by the near miss and concerned for the boy's safety. However when Ricci's father intervenes the driver racially abuses both of them. Ricci's father threatens the driver with a serious beating should he ever repeat his words. Ricci is proud of his father.

Ricci and Mina return Sidney's chair to the film set. Poitier is delighted to have his chair returned and gives Ricci an autograph. However, in the chaos of shooting, Gabriel steals the chair away again.