I Am Ali is the newest documentary on one of the Great American lives. The early great ones (When We Were Kings) gives you an insight into his athletic greatness, last year’s fantastic The Trials of Muhammad Ali finally broke new ground on analyzing his role in the politics of his time. But just, as a man, flawed and imperfect like the rest of us, who was he?
This is the successful angle I Am Ali takes. Primarily structured through tapes of Ali talking to his children, we see the Champ as less as the everlasting icon, and more in a role most of us can relate to: husband trying to provide for his family, father trying to instill self confidence and worth into his children. We do of course get glimpses of the public figure; in this case it’s important in showing us how his children viewed ‘Muhammad Ali’ as Daddy turning his silly, charming personality up to 11.
That voice. It’s good to hear from his family that Ali doesn’t seem ready just yet to leave us, but hearing his voice in its youthful, playful, powerful peak here. You all know how I feel about appreciating the people you love while you have them.
Nice 2 hour documentary, now streaming on iTunes and other outlets.