"A simple, entirely unaffected portrait of a family which happens to be black" is how Sid's Family was described by a Monthly Film Bulletin reviewer at the time of its release. Indeed, this mostly fly-on-the-wall documentary exudes warmth and candour, without recourse to narration and surplus context, and its freshness of approach hasn't tarnished one bit with age.
The film is the first in a trilogy charting the lives of Jamaican-born, Bristol-based Sid Williams and his family at eight year intervals from 1972 through 1980 to 1988. In this respect it recalls ITV's much-lauded series Seven Up, which has followed the lives of 14 British children since 1964. The sequel to Sid's Family, The Good Father (1980), is also available on BFI Player. In the same year as this film, director Nick Gifford made the similarly-themed film Oh for the Wings of a Dove, a portrait of a Pakistani family living in Birmingham, which is also available to view on BFI Player.