Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Am Ali
Limited U.S. release October 10th, 2014
1 hr 51 mins
Rated PG
Documentary, Sport


Director: Clare Lewins

Muhammad Ali Jnr as Himself
Hana Ali as Herself
Maryum Ali as Herself
Muhammad Ali as Himself
Rahaman Ali as Himself
Jim Brown as Himself
Carl Fischer as Himself
George Foreman as Himself
Marvis Frazier as Himself
Ken Jones as Himself
Tom Jones as Himself
Gene Kilroy as Himself
George Lois as Himself
Verónica Porche Ali as Herself
Norman Towns as Young Ali
Mike Tyson as Himself

Review by Stephen M.

I Am Ali stands out from the other documentaries and biopics of the boxing legend by incorporating audio archives in the form of conversations Muhammad Ali had with his daughters.  Besides the audio archives, the filmmakers incorporate interviews with former managers, relatives and rivals.  Giving us an one sided picture of a loving father, passionate fighter, and a charismatic intelligent proud black man.

What I enjoyed about the film are the touching recordings by Ali with his daughters.  Having the sense of mind to do so to play them back in the future to them as adults shows what care and thought he had for his children.  Watching the old footage of his fights and even the promotion of his old fights bring back memories of old days when Heavyweight weight class in boxing was king, and it was mostly due to this man.  The insights provided by his manager and associates to his origins in boxing and his frame of mind and the famous rivalries are entertaining.

What I had hope from the film is a more complete picture of Muhammad Ali.  This documentary just barely touches the surfaces of Ali, with very few criticisms.  His infidelity is well known but is only mentioned once by ex-wife Veronica Porche Ali.  As well not mentioned is his fall out with the Nation of Islam or his reaction to when he found out he had Parkinson's disease.  These would have all been interesting topics to touch upon.  I also found annoying due to the brightness, the flicking audio lines when the phone conversation is played.  Perhaps a duller color would've been less prone to put people into possible seizures.

Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you're a fan of Sports movies and documentaries.  As I have mentioned, the portrayal of Muhammad is a bit one sided.  But it gives us a side of Muhammad that is seldom seen.  To get a complete picture of the man that floats like a butterfly and sting like a bee, you have to include this in your viewing among the dozen Ali biopics.


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