Facing Ali

Facing Ali
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Runtime: 100 minutes
Rating: 7.9 out of 10
Genre: Documentary
Directed by: Pete McCormack
Format: Widescreen
Subtitles: English and Spanish
DVD Audio: 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital


OVERVIEW – Facing Ali

The first thing you should know about Facing Ali before viewing it is that it is a documentary style film. Knowing little about the most famous boxer from the 1960s and 70s, viewers will learn quite a bit about Ali’s boxing career through the recollections of ten of his opponents. Facing Ali is an honest film told by those who fought against Muhammad Ali throughout his career, including fighters like Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Henry Cooper, and more.

Viewers can expect to learn a lot about Ali’s start as a fighter and about his career as a whole, as well as a little bit about his conversion to Islam, the changing of his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, and his stance on the Vietnam War. This film is very touching, especially towards the end as his modest opponents express empathy towards Ali’s Parkinson’s disease and pay their respects to one of the greatest boxers of all time.

The film also comes with several special features. There are animated trivia cards that display basic facts and interesting details about each of the opponents that speak in the film. There is a feature called “Bringing the Fights to Life” in which the production team discusses the creation of (and ideas behind) Facing Ali, as well as the technology.

The next section is called “Facing Ali: Book to Screen,” in which the producers discuss how they put together the resources necessary to create an authentic film that accurately tells the story of Ali. Finally, there is a feature called “After the Bell” in which the producers discuss how they were able to meet up with the fighters that tell Ali’s story throughout the film, and their experiences interviewing each boxer.

My recommendation: Any fan of Muhammad Ali will want to own this film. It provides a very authentic and honest revisiting of Ali’s legacy through the stories of ten respectable fighters as they recall their bouts with one of the greatest fighters of all time. Their stories are very real, and viewers will notice right away the amount of respect these boxers have for Muhammad Ali, as well as the empathy they share for his continuing struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

However, if you’re not particularly interested in Muhammad Ali and his famous fighting career, this film will probably not interest you. For those even mildly curious about Ali’s greatest fights and the stories that can be told by those he fought against, Facing Ali is at least worth a rental.

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