The Trials Of Muhammad Ali (2013)
Critic Consensus: Director Bill Siegel doesn't explore any new boundaries of the documentary with The Trials of Muhammad Ali, but his subject is so inherently fascinating that the movie proves gripping in spite of its familiar beats.
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Critic Reviews for The Trials Of Muhammad Ali
As with the best stories, "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" puts one man's story within a greater context. This is Ali's story, but it's America's story, too. Here, it's well told.
Ali's life has been recounted so many times that you'd think no one could come up with a fresh angle on it; documentary maker Bill Siegel succeeds, primarily by delving into the religious story, largely downplayed by the mainstream.
If you have fond memories of David Susskind's talk shows from the golden age of 1960s television, prepare to have them blasted away by this revealing documentary.
There is history as it's remembered, and then there's history as it happened. This documentary gives us the latter, and it's a true education.
Audience Reviews for The Trials Of Muhammad Ali
Or "Say My Name!"
Focusing on the person of Muhammad Ali through the different opinions people had of the figure, The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a captivating biography of a controversial and complex figure in American history. With a wealth of news and sports footage, director Bill Siegel is able to transport the viewer back to the 1960s as he examines the career and life of one of the most famous sports icons of all time. As someone who only knows about Ali's life from his famous quotes and achievements, I was captivated by his political life.
Siegel does a great job of objectively portraying Ali's convictions, and allowing the audience to draw conclusions about his motivations from there. With current interviews with friends and family of Ali, we see what those closest to him thought of his ideas, but we also see what people in the 60s thought of him as well. We, of course, are lead to view him as the amazing figure he was, but are given enough information to draw are own conclusions.
If you're a fan of history or of sports documentaries, you will find this biographical documentary fascinating.
Fascinating look at aspects of Ali's life which have been ... well, whitewashed ... in our collective memory. Documenting how Cassius Clay became Mohammad Ali, evolving an identity and creating a place in the world, also reveals a lot about how others built their own idea of Mohammad Ali based on their own needs.
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