The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Streaming Video - 2013
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No conventional sports documentary, The Trials Of Muhammad Ali investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin Films - makers of such acclaimed documentaries as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters - and Academy Award-nominated director Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground), The Trials Of Muhammad Ali examines how one of the most celebrated sports champions of the 20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.
Publisher: [United States] : Kino Lorber : Made available through hoopla, 2013
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 94 min.)) : sd., col
Call Number: eVideo


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There is a blurb from politics/sportswriter Dave Zirin on the DVD case that says to the effect, "This is the best Muhammad Ali documentary. And I've seen a lot of them." THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI is certainly superb, but don't come to it with the expectation that you're going to see a film about Ali's career in the ring. The only fights that are featured are the first title fight against Sonny Liston, the first title defense against Floyd Patterson, and the title defense against Ernie Terrell. There is nothing about Ali's fights after he returns to the ring in 1970 following his suspension because that is where the documentary ends. The documentary ends there because the film is principally about Ali's stand against the Vietnam War, how that led to his ban from boxing and his eventual exoneration as a legitimate Conscientious Objector by the U.S. Supreme Court. In order to understand Ali's position on the war you have to understand Ali's relationship to the Nation of Islam and its founder, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This is the meat of the movie, and probably the reason Zirin considers this the best Ali documentary -- because it addresses a real blind spot in the popular understanding of this American giant.

Nov 03, 2014

This documentary has more to do with Muhammed Ali the muslim then Muhammed Ali the fighter, though obviously both people intermesh to making the charismatic, love or loath man that used to be Cassius Clay. This film is interesting when seen in the light of today's religious climate and the world's view of Islam.


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