Robert Lipsyte,Khalilah Camacho-Ali,Louis Farrakhan,Rahaman Ali,Hana Ali,Muhammad Ali
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.