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MUHAMMAD ALI, THE GREATEST



 
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Not to be confused with the Hollywood biopic, The Greatest (1977), this documentary by acclaimed photographer and filmmaker William Klein is a vibrant, intimate portrait of one of the greatest sports figures of modern times. The first portion, shot from 1964-65, covers the period of Ali's title fight and rematch with Sonny Liston, when he was still known as Cassius Clay. Klein later expanded the film to feature length by following the historic "Rumble in the Jungle" match against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. Rather than highlight fight footage, Klein focuses on Ali and his era, with glimpses of such notables as Malcolm X, Norman Mailer and The Beatles. The changing nature of Ali's inner circle, the fighter's spiritual and political complexity, and the racial climate of the times are all brilliantly captured.

William Klein---France---1964-1974---110 mins.