By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 30, 2014 at 3:50PM
2 - The Trials of Muhammad Ali, a documentary from Kartemquin Films (the producers of Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters and more), directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground).
The powerful documentary examines the life of Muhammad Ali beyond the boxing ring to offer a personal perspective on the American sporting legend. Investigating Ali's spiritual transformation - including his conversion to Islam, his resistance to the Vietnam War draft, and his humanitarian work - the film connects Ali's transcendent life story to America's struggles with race, religion, and war in the twentieth century.
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 Trials of Muhammad Ali had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, won the ABCNews VideoSource Award at the IDA Documentary Awards, and was nominated for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards. It was an official selection of Festival Do Rio, Seattle International Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, AFI Docs, Montclair Film Festival, and Melbourne International Film Festival.
The film was released theatrically last year by Kino Lorber, opening in New York at IFCCenter, before going on to play in additional markets including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington DC, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, San Francisco and many others.