School of Movies

-Ali-

February 19, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This is our 700th Podcast. I began in April of 2007, and through four generations of my show, myself and then Sharon have covered a hell of a lot of media. Fittingly, this episode is one of the very greatest. 

On the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 Michael-Mann-directed biopic of maybe the greatest sportsman who ever lived, we finally go up against Ali in the ring. It's not just a fantastic film, this account of the real life events that took place between his fight with Sonny Liston in 1964 spanning all the way to the Rumble in the Jungle with Foreman in Zaire, '74 changed the way I saw the world.

It did so, decades ago, drawing my attention sharply to the African-American experience, and the injustices it exposes in the heart of America. This informed upon the way I think, the way I speak, and it has definitely informed on how I write. It's also the performance of Will Smith's life (in case you needed any more excuses to track it down). Sharon and I move through the events, people and decisions that effected this flawed, infuriating, dazzling, inspiring man, and how he reacted to them, in a manner that transcended the limitations heaped upon him. 

The two accompanying films we also suggest as further viewing afterwards are 'The Greatest' (1977) and 'When We Were Kings' (1996).

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