City of Ali – Jacksonville Free Press

There are many life lessons in this inspiring documentary

NNPA NEWSWIRE – By Dwight Brown NNPA Newswire Film Critic (Source: www.blackpressusa.com) – The most poignant moments in the film are Ali, telling stories of the humiliations he encountered as a black and the challenges he faced because of his beliefs faced. An incident in a racist restaurant became a favorite anecdote: Waiter: “We don’t serve negroes!” Ali: “I don’t eat them. So, serve me something to eat. ”His position on the war in Vietnam, which cost him his title and boxing licenses and resulted in a prison sentence, was summed up in a nutshell:“ You want me to go and fight somewhere, and you will not even get up home for me, ”raged Ali into a room full of reporters.

Can we ever get enough of Muhammad Ali? No! And so further documentation about him is in a certain way automatically good news. Especially in these troubled times, when memories of “The Greatest” are awakened, we can reconnect with the best of humanity.

First-time director Graham Shelby and producer Jonathan McHugh focus their efforts largely on the final chapter in the boxing legend’s life as his death, memorial service, and weeklong celebration are told. During the days around Friday, June 10, 2016, 100,000 people gathered in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, KY, to honor him while one billion people worldwide watched the celebrations on live television.

The preparations and maneuvering behind the scenes are revealed through conversations and memories. Family, friends, police, politicians, clergymen, and even a thoughtful florist who had scattered rose pedals on the way to Ali’s grave were united in one single purpose: to show love and awe to the champion. Your personal experiences and the way this diverse group has worked together in Louisville – on a world stage – is inspiring.

It also gathers details from Ali’s storied life in photos and clips where the champion shares personal stories, presides over press conferences, and interacts with famous people and everyday people. All of this is complemented by interviews with the patriarch’s family (wife Lonnnie, son Assad, daughter Rasheda) and admirers (Evander Holyfield, Pres. Bill Clinton, Dick Cavett) who show that this international hero is more than worthy of a king’s farewell was.

The film’s most poignant moments are Ali, telling stories of the humiliations he encountered as a black and the challenges he faced because of his beliefs. An incident in a racist restaurant became a favorite anecdote: Waiter: “We don’t serve negroes!” Ali: “I don’t eat them. So serve me something to eat. ”His position on the war in Vietnam, which cost him his title and boxing licenses and resulted in a jail term, was summed up in a nutshell:“ You want me to go and fight somewhere, and you will not even get up home for me, ”raged Ali into a room full of reporters.

There are many life lessons in this inspiring documentary.There are many life lessons in this inspiring documentary

From a technical point of view, there is really nothing innovative or extraordinary about the way this document was shot or put together. The format is pretty routine. Sometimes the light is glaring on respondents’ faces. A transition between Ali’s struggle against social injustice and today’s Black Lives Matter movement is strangely clunky, although it should have been a smooth transition. But basically the filmmakers do the job.

There are many life lessons in this inspiring documentary. One of the most touching is 12-year-old Ali’s relationship with an older white cop. His new red Schwinn bike had been stolen, and Ali, then Cassius Clay, told the investigator that he would find the thief and scream up the ass. Cop Joe E. Martin asked Ali if he knew how to fight. Ali replied that he didn’t, but he would scream up the thief’s ass anyway. Martin, also a boxing coach, invited Ali to work out at Louisville’s Columbia Gym, the city’s only integrated gym. Their fateful meeting gave a cheeky boy a calling that would earn him an Olympic gold medal, make him a three-time heavyweight world champion, and help him gain legions of fans.

In this age of police crime and the defusion of police movements, hearing such a story sends a glimmer of hope. The boxer was known for this, he bridged trenches, brought people together and shared his generous spirit wherever he went. A friend warned another against paying the champion: Friend: “Don’t let Muhammad Ali pay with cash.” Another friend: “Why?” Friend: “Because he’ll give everything away before he comes home.”

Louisville’s devotion to her native son was thoroughly documented in this soul-lifting film. Just like Ali’s sense of duty to humanity. As the champion put it: “Service is the rent you pay here for your place in heaven.”

Pendant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQx704BJx2k

Special premiere at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY and virtually on June 3, 2021. Nationwide Watch now @ home theater Release June 4th

Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown on DwightBrownInk.com and BlackPressUSA.com.

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