From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war.
Academy Award-nominated director Bill Siegel examines how one of the most celebrated sports champions of the 20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.
The film was an official selection at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, AFI Docs and Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, among others.
“Why another film on Muhammad Ali,” asked Siegel. “Because no Ali film has deeply explored his exile years, his spiritual transformation and his impact on the world beyond the ring. This is an intimate film weaving artful and unseen archival footage, with contemporary interviews from firsthand sources, resulting in an intense, focused narrative with hard-hitting relevance. ‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali’ uses percussive sounds of the speed bag and heavy bag to drive and punctuate the story. It has tensions involving faith, race, duty, and identity. And when you personalize those tensions through the humanity of Muhammad Ali, it gives them depth and definition in ways that resonate now. Ultimately, it is a story that has at least as much to say about our society and how Ali's principles continue to challenge us as it does about his own transformation. In many ways, he stayed true to his beliefs and identity while the country changed around him.”
“The Trials of Muhammad Ali” debuts in the Twin Cities on Friday, Oct. 18 at the Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis. For a show schedule call (612) 823-3020 or go online at http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/minneapolis/lagooncinema.htm.