Monday, November 8, 2010

When we were kings, by Leon Gast (1996)

   The movie follows Muhammad Ali and George Foreman to the historical fight for the heavyweight championship help on October 30, 1974, in Zaire.

    The movie includes footage from the time of the fight and current interviews about the fight. Actually the movie was only put together twenty two years after the fight, due to disputes on copyrights.

    Spike Lee talks about Ali's legacy and importance, and describes him as "handsome, articulate, funny, charismatic, and kicking ass, too."

    Foreman is not as exuberant. He doesn't speak that much, even though he already holded the heavyweight title at that point.

    Many musicians, including BB King, and James Brown gave concerts in Zaire, attracting a lot of attention to this fight. Many of the interviews with Ali and entourage mention race issues.

    Financed by Zaire's infamous dictator - Mobutu. The deal for the fight was coordinated by Don King, who is presented as an astute oportunist.

    Norman Mailler, was there as a young reporter and provides his recollections and livelly descriptions.

    Amazing documentary. It deserves the prizes it received and looks as fascinating now as ever.


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