2 February 2000 | K.Wilson
More than just a good boxing story, it's an examination of cultural history
To focus only on Ali (like or dislike), or just the significance of the boxing match alone, would be missing the point of this movie. Tell your friends that it's not just a sports movie! It is a Documentary that focuses not only on the fight, but on the black culture in the U.S. and Zaire. That's culture as defined by its people, music, athletes, politics, business and other innumerable parts, as observed by several different people, inside and outside.The insights offered by George Plimpton and Norman Mailer are priceless. It's history and entertainment together, and thoroughly enjoyable to watch. It would be simplistic and unjust to reject the Documentary because of personal prejudices or disagreement with Ali's politics. It is also a mistake to isolate and criticize colourful comments, chants and poetry (!)that were uttered purely to entertain and "psych" the opponent.
Not only was Ali a great boxer and a great entertainer, he is an intelligent and articulate man. He uses his high profile to deliver messages of racial pride, heritage, hope and peace. The fact that Parkinson's Disease has physically afflicted and almost silenced this man is a tragedy. We have been deprived of hearing what the 26 years of life experience since 1974 may have done to Ali's outlook and beliefs. Writing this has inspired me to go to the library; maybe he hasn't been silenced totally, and someone is talking for him. Like this film, it's a subject worth investigating!