Ali is a film directed by Michael Mann. The film was released in 2001 and recounts the events during ten years of the life (1964-1974) of the famous boxer Muhammad Ali, highlighting both the achievements of his boxing career and the social upheaval in the United States in the face of the Vietnam War and after the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the late 1930s, the civil rights movement in the United States began to fracture into various groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam (although the latter was established in XNUMX). The film traces the battle lines that emerged in Ali's own life, tracing his conversion to Islam, the change of his name to "Muhammad Ali" and his first marriage to Sonji Roi, as well as all the controversies that dogged him after his death. protest of the Vietnam War and his refusal to comply with his enlistment requirements.  

However, Ali was first and foremost a boxer, and the film begins and ends in the ring. It opens in 1964 with the fight between Cassius Clay, Jr. (Ali's registration name) and Sonny Liston that gave Clay his first heavyweight title, and closes in 1974 with the fight against George Foreman called the “Rumble in the Jungle”, which took place in Kinshasha, Zaire.

Although the film failed at the box office, critical reception has been generally positive. Will Smith and Jon Voight were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the 2001 Academy Awards.

Diana Norton

2016-2017 cycle of the cinema forum: “American Biopics: civil rights in the United States through its protagonists”.

Session corresponding to January 2017:

Ali (2001, Michael Mann/ 167 min. – 2 hours 45 minutes)

Screening of the film (VOSE) followed by a discussion about it.

Screening: at 17:30 p.m. / Colloquium: at 20:15 p.m.

Moderator: Diana Norton and Catalina Iannone.

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