Producers of “Hoop Dreams”
August 22, 2013, New York City (ISN) – Kino Lorber presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of The Trials of Muhammad Ali, a Kartemquin Films production directed by Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground). This acclaimed documentary follows and connects the diverse threads in the personal and public lives of the singularly charismatic athlete and cultural icon Muhammad Ali.
From his controversial stance on Vietnam, legal challenges he faced as a conscientious objector to the draft, his relationship to the Nation of Islam and his ongoing fight for racial justice at the risk of a world-class boxing career – Ali’s life unfolds in this documentary of riveting depth and unparalleled access. The Trials of Muhammad Ali opens in New York at the IFC Center on August 23rd, followed by a national rollout to select cities.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a conventional sports documentary. Befitting its extraordinary and complex subject, the film examines Ali’s life outside the ring, beginning with the announcement of his deeply held and controversial Islamic religious beliefs, and the decision to change his “white man’s name” of Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. The film explores his refusal to serve in the Vietnam war, even after his status as a conscientious objector was denied, on the grounds of protesting racial injustice at home, while capturing his passion and anger in interviews and television appearances culled from a rich variety of rare archival sources.
Magnetic, energized and outspoken, Muhammad Ali found himself at the center of America’s controversies over race, religion and war. The Trials of Muhammad Ali gives audiences the chance to experience the persona of this remarkable figure who took a strong stance on the most incendiary issues of his time, and transcended his fame as a celebrated sports figure to become a leader of global humanitarian efforts. His remarkable story is told not only through archival footage, but by his supporters and spiritual leaders including Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, as well as opponents of his views such as Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. The film also features new interviews with those who know and have worked with Ali, including his brother Rahman, his wife Khalilah Camacho-Ali, sports journalist Robert Lipsyte and Louis Farrakhan.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali (USA, 2013, 92 min) Directed by Bill Siegel. Producer: Rachel Pikelny. Executive Producers: Leon Gast, Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan and Kat White. Editor: Aaron Wickenden.