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I Am Ali Review


Packed with never-released material, this documentary tells the life story of Muhammad Ali from angles we haven't seen before, even as it has a tendency to drift into hero worship. But filmmaker Clare Lewins assembles the material with style and personality, mixing home movies and previously unheard recordings with firsthand interviews with the people who know Ali best. Oddly, many of them speak in the past tense, which makes the film feel like a eulogy for a man who's still alive.

Watch any clip of Ali and it's clear that this man is a force of nature. In his heyday, his charisma was legendary, infusing new life into the boxing world when he emerged as Cassius Clay and was banned from boxing for refusing to participate in the Viet Nam draft. A lifelong activist, Ali has never compromised his principles, being true to himself while sticking up for those around him. He also broke rules by talking directly to the world through the media's cameras, chanting at and dancing around his competitors. But the film's most intriguing aspect is its depiction of him as a doting father who has always had time for his kids. At 72, he lives in Arizona with his wife, and is seriously ill with Parkinson's.

Everyone on-screen has been caught up in Ali's magic, with one noting that looking into his eyes is like seeing God. These kind of comments are a bit too intent on creating a legend while skipping over some of the grittier details of his life. Yes, Lewins seems to get caught up in the mythology as well. The film only briefly touches on his four marriages and children from extra-marital affairs, but it does spend some time exploring his more shocking public comments. Although even these are recalled through the prism of time, offering explanations and even redemption.

Continue reading: I Am Ali Review

I Am Ali


Picture - Jim Brown - 14th Annual... Los Angeles California United States, Friday 8th August 2014

Jim Brown - 14th Annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation Gala raising money for the treatment and cure of cancer - Arrivals at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 8th August 2014

Picture - Jim Brown , Friday 16th November 2012

Jim Brown Friday 16th November 2012 Tony La Russo's inaugural Leaders and Legends Gala benefitting his Animal Rescue Foundation at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino

Jim Brown:
News Pictures Video Film

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