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Ali, the man who touched an entire world with his words and action
This documentary is a must see for any boxing sport enthusiast, but it is equally a film that will inspire anyone to continue to fight for what they believe in. Cassius Clay/Muhummad Ali was a very simple young man who took up the sport of boxing at the age of 12 or there about. He loved boxing, he loved boasting about his boxing prowess both in and out of the ring. He called himself "The Greatest" and on many occasions he spoke too quickly and his words were sometimes misconstrued. This documentary provides a significant amount of real life footage of a young and reserved Cassius Clay growing more and more outspoken and confident as his boxing legend continued to grow larger and larger after each win in the ring and he accepted his religious name Muhummad Ali, as his commitment and belief in the Nation of Islam grew stronger.
I cannot say that I support everything Ali said and did (as an example, I don't condone his four marriages and his fathering children from many women, apparently some of his children were from extra marital affairs) but I admire and greatly respect the man for his convictions and unwavering determination where most men would have crumbled long before they were criticized so savagely by the world press.
I am sure we all can recall so many famous people in either the sports and/or entertainment world that while in their prime income earning years and in their popularity acted inappropriately and as their wealth and/or notoriety subsided they tried to stay in the limelight and quite frankly just embarrassed themselves in so doing. Many former celebrities died a lonely death broke and too reliant on drugs and alcohol. This is not the case with Muhummad Ali. Ali has maintained a level of class throughout his life and he has represented the sport of boxing, the United States of America, the Nation of Islam, and his heritage as a proud and religious black man who will not shy away from anyone who stands between what he truly believes in.
For children born after the year 2000, to understand Ali's incredible battles both in and out of the ring they will have to rely on through films such as this fine documentary Muhummad Ali: The Whole Story. Ali has never recanted his devotion to the Nation of Islam so for those naysayers who believed Ali took up the religion to avoid the U.S. draft this assumption is so far removed from the truth.
Through this documentary you will witness a man with such determination that he would ignore his own family, friends, trainers, promoters, wives, and reporters that dared to use the words "give up". It simply was not in Ali's vocabulary to quit. Through time, nature took its toll on Ali physically, and Ali responded in his boxing style to adjust. Unfortunately for Ali the impact over decades of fighting the highest caliber contenders to his heavyweight boxing title that he has won an unprecedented three times, was most likely the cause of his acquiring a slow but crippling strain of Parkinsons which has impacted his speech and mobility over the past 30 years of his life.
This film for the boxing purest who wish to introduce the sport of boxing to their offspring and to subsequent generations of young men and women who require images of inspiration and commitment need to watch this film. It has a great combination of Ali's history from his days as a golden glove champion to his 3 1/2 year exile from the ring, to his travelling around the globe, to fight any man, anytime, anywhere. This is an incredible documentary of a man who many despised in the 1960's, 1970's, but by the 1980's came to understand the man and his mission, and grew to love and admire Ali.
Muhummad Ali, if you ever choose to visit Toronto, it would be my honour to have you join us for dinner to thank you for so many wonderful years of inspiration and to hear the Whole Story as the years have evolved and your naysayers have now become your most heartfelt supporters.
This documentary film is deserving of a perfect 10 for 10 as is "The Greatest" deserving of the accolades he has earned over the past 50 years not just for being the greatest heavyweight boxer in history, but for his contributions to the equality for all men and women and freedom of religion that he so believes in.
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