When We Were Kings

Unknown year Sports 1.45K Views 0 Comments
Believe the hype. This much-praised documentary about one of the most famous boxing matches in history deserves every one of its accolades. Blending sports drama and biography with a touch of political analysis, <em>When We Were Kings</em> relates the who, when, where, and most importantly the why of the 1974 George Foreman/Muhammad Ali world championship fight in Zaire.

Splicing together old news footage, photos, and contemporary interview clips, director <em>Leon Gast</em> captures the excitement and chaos that led up to the famed “Rumble in the Jungle” and the incredible characters and events surrounding the thrilling bout.

The documentary explores a gamut of issues that defined the 1970s and impacted the African-American community: the Vietnam War and the draft, the nascent “Black is Beautiful” movement and idealization of Mother Africa, and the brutal reality of post-colonial dictatorships. But it is the charismatic and bombastic <em>Muhammad Ali</em> at the center of it all who steals the show with the sheer force of his inimitable personality.<em>When We Were Kings</em> reminds us why.

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