Muhammad Ali: Through The Eyes Of The World [DVD]
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Documentary telling the story of Muhammad Ali. Features interviews with family, friends and fans.
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Top Customer Reviews
Could any one man have captured his times the way Ali did? Unlikely, since his 1960s contemporaries (the two Kennedys, King, Malcolm X) are either victims of the assassin's bullet (his friend John Jay Hooker points out, Ali could so easily have faced the same fate in the 1960s), or with reputations systematically hacked apart (Marilyn, Lennon and Elvis).
That his reputation builds over time really does reinforce his significance as perhaps, the leading cultural and social figure of the late 20th century. That he's still alive, albeit debilitated, is a near miracle, given his struggles in the ring and outside of it. His contribution to the tragic, post-September 11 events in the US, was measured, dignified and did more to suggest peace was the true answer to the woes of our times, than the utterances of a hundred macho politicians.
All the major figures in his life contribute: trainer Angelo Dundee, 'Ring Doctor' Ferdie Pacheco, opponents (Terrell, Foreman, Ellis, Cooper), even (in a rare TV appearance) striking third wife Veronica, mother of boxer Laila Ali.
Various chroniclers of the Ali legend are also present: Burt Randolph Sugar of 'Ring' magazine, Mark Kram, Hugh McIlvanney, Victor Bockris and Mike Marqusee.
Ali himself remains absent, as does current wife Lonnie Ali. In any case, why speak when others propel the legend better than you ever could yourself?
The footage mixes old and new: there's much rarely-seen material from the late 1960s and early 1970s specifically, as well as his appearance on This Is Your Life from 1979.Read more ›
Interesting interviews with family and friends add to the package, but my favourite part of the DVD remains the boxing footage itself. But we must remember that this is not a boxing video, but rather a biography of Ali and his life. In order to pack 40 years of life into 104 minutes of film, you obviously need to sacrifice detail. The detail sacrificed in this case revolves around the sport itself. If you are a hardcore fan of boxing, as opposed to a hardcore fan of Muhammad Ali, then this video may not be for you. If you want to understand the man and his life as a boxer, public figure, liberator, and now philanthropist, in the context of the world in which he existed, then purchase this one now.
If this was a 2-disc set that featured his most famous fights with an analysis and discussion around each, then this would definitely be a 5* package. There are plenty of short, but useful extras on the DVD, but the lack of detail around his boxing left me just a little, I repeat just a little, dissapointed.
This is definitely one to watch once, but probably not twice.