The Trials of Muhammad Ali, the feature documentary from Kartemquin Films (the company behind a few documentaries we’ve covered here on S&A, like The Interrupters and the Bill T Jones profile A Good Man), will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
As a recap… According to the company, the documentary is actually not a boxing film, as you might expect; instead it’ll cover…
… Ali’s toughest bout, his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing US military service during the Vietnam War. Brash boxer Cassius Clay burst into the American consciousness in the early 1960s, just ahead of the Civil Rights movement. His transformation into the spiritually enlightened heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is legendary, but this religious awakening also led to a bitter legal battle with the U.S. government after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. This film reveals the perfect storm of race, religion and politics that shaped one of the most recognizable figures in sports history.
The film is directed by Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground) and executive produced by Leon Gast (When We Were Kings) for Kartemquin Films.
So, a stellar group behind this project, which they state will show Ali “as a fighter fueled by defiance, faith and a quest for justice,” and which we are looking forward to seeing eventually. And now that it’s premiering in my backyard, I’ll most certainly be checking it out!
Check out the poster art for the film in full below.