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Muhammad Ali the greatest





Support dématérialisé :

William Klein a rencontré Muhammad Ali en 1964 et l’a suivi dix ans durant pour réaliser ce documentaire désormais mythique.

Cassius Marcellus Clay, boxeur afro-américain, remporte en 1960 le titre olympique des mi-lourds et devient en 1964 champion du monde des poids lourds.
Au lendemain de cette victoire, il révèle qu'il est membre des Black Muslims, se convertit à l'islam, change de nom et défie l'Amérique blanche.
Ayant refusé de faire son service militaire pour protester contre la discrimination raciale et l'engagement américain au Viêt-nam, il est déchu de son titre en 1967.
Après trois ans d'inactivité, il peut revenir sur le ring et reconquérir le titre mondial en 1974 contre George Foreman. Il retrouve sa gloire, sa couronne, sa légende.

In 1964, Cassius Clay becomes heavy-weight champion of the world and declares his name is Muhammad Ali. A date in sports history and a turning point in black awareness. This was the subject of William Klein's feature documentary : Cassius The Great, winner of first prizes in four international festivals.

It was a searing look into boxing, into the Southern power structure, inside the Black Muslims. We met the Kentucky syndicate who bought and sold Clay. We follow the mysterious Clay-Liston match and re-match. Malcom X, a week before his assassination, analyses Ali's profound political significance. Grotesque ghosts of boxing from Joe Louis to Beau Jack lumber, punch-drunk and tragic, through the film. And, above all, Muhammad Ali, explodes on the scene constantly catching America off guard, the first black champion to declare himself free. Eventually, it cost him his title, 3 years enforced retirement, and many millions of dollars. But unkindest cut, as ex-champion he became a symbol in reverse. In America, a martyr is rather a loser than a hero.

Muhammad Ali, an aging 32 year-old, who no longer Floats-like-a-Butterfly-and-Stings-like-a-Bee, no longer a revolutionary figure but nostalgia, wants his title back, or, at least, one last big pay check and he shall fight the terrifying Foreman.

And at all odds, this is the end of the most extraordinary sports career of all time.
October 31, 5:30am, Kinshasa, Zaïre. Ali stands triumphant over Foreman, bewildered and K.O How did Ali, underdog, ex-martyr, become once again an all-time hero, champion and legend ?
What has he become, the man that Malcolm X called the most important black personality of our time ? The phenomenon that Norman Mailer calls "The Spirit of the 20th Century, the Prince of Mass Man and of Media"? Who is Ali ?
This first and only real portrait contrary to recent stock shot montages, Muhammad Ali the Greatest, brings a powerful, often hilarious, and always entertaining answer.

Available in English Audio Version

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