Ali is treated for Ken Burns with a four-part PBS film

Given the number of movies, documentaries and other entertainment vehicles made about Muhammad Ali, offering something fresh, like the former heavyweight champion at the end of the 1971 battle with Joe Frazier, is It seems that there is not much left.

Will Smith played Ali. Ali also played Ali in “Greatest”. The 1996 documentary “Muhammad Ali Kings” about Ali’s “Kinshasa’s Miracle” match against George Foreman won the Oscar.

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns knew that the rise of ants from Louisville, Kentucky had more layers to reveal that it was rooted in the source of black pride that captivated America with boxing Bragadosio. rice field. His long and tragic battle with Parkinson’s disease.


Burns’ movie “Muhammad Ali” explores the life of a boxer who floats and paves the way for great things.

“He’s very convincing,” Burns said. “He’s complicated, withdrawn, flawed, and doesn’t hesitate to remind people of his existence through this film. Finally, he’s a transcendental American character. He’s still me. There’s a lot to offer to us. Of course, he was at the crossroads of so many themes of race, politics, war, faith, and loyalty. “

Burns began working for Ali, who died almost seven years ago in 2016 at the age of 74, saying that the story of the boxer’s life “is emerging and you can immediately see how it resonates at that moment.” .. Burns (who co-directed the film with her eldest daughter Sarah and her husband Dave McMahon) weaves archive footage and reveals charismatic and complex parts in interviews with Ali’s daughter, ex-wife, sports writer, athlete and activist. Join together The life of a three-time heavyweight boxing champion.


“Muhammad Ali has a lot of really really great documentary films. I think the 30 and 20 minutes of Michael Mann’s” Ali “opening is one of the best opening ever,” said Burns. increase. “No one has said it yet. Let’s do it comprehensively. It’s not definitive. It’s from the birth in the isolated Louisville, Kentucky, to the death of Parkinson’s disease. Let’s understand him. “

Burns spoke on the Associated Press and telephone from his home in Walpole, New Hampshire, and discussed Ali’s four-part eight-hour series, which airs on PBS from September 19 to 22 at 8 pm.

AP: What was your biggest discovery about ants when you peeled off the layers?

Burns: I think that’s this sense of purpose. He put on gloves, fought several battles and now declares him the best. It’s like hitting a double with a tee ball and saying, “I’ll be the best baseball player I’ve ever had.” OK, that’s a good desire. The calm he has at various times. Frazier’s Battle, he was bagging Frazier, he was predicting, he was unfriendly, he was bold. But then he talks about setting an example because everyone loses. In fact, everyone loses. No one can live and escape from now on. He understands it. He really understands the basics. He has this in him in the midst of this noisy and wonderful promoter learned from Gorgeous George.


AP: What have you learned about how America’s views on ants have changed over the decades?

Burns: When he dies, we forget what kind of split person he was. When he was igniting the Atlanta torch, we forgot how divisive he was. He was thought of as a religious person, like the Buddha. I think it’s a way of how surprisingly central and purposeful he was in this noisy, dissonant kind of thing that was his life. (His image) has already improved after losing to the first Frazier in three Frazier battles. He is beaten in the last round and recovers. If he loses, he wins. By that time, we are beginning to realize that he was right about Vietnam. He started to get people back.

AP: Did Ali feel that he reflected the black experience every ten years, or did he set it by the nature of his celebrity and stance?

Burns: I think it’s a little bit of both. He reflected that aspect in representing a new model that was less interested in the old tactics of the Southern Christian Civil Rights Movement on integration. He was a little further north and was a little more obsessed with separation. It was certainly a tradition of black politics that dates back to Marcus Garvey. But at the same time, he becomes this huge symbol and people begin to embrace new forms of black masculine ideas with the confidence and motivation to say “I am beautiful” and “black is beautiful”. It’s part of that Black Power movement, and it’s not just what Panther does, but many people embrace their own value and some sense of value. He reflects on and supervises.


AP: Did you know that ants sometimes didn’t want to pay for themselves?

Burns: Some of him can see a kind of frustration flash, rather than about the burden that people make mistakes for. When he said, “I don’t have to put it in a box. It’s not boxing.” At the end of the movie, (daughter) Rasheda (Ali) says, “This is all boxing” (pinching her fingers). While). I think he knew he was doing something bigger. He may have been a simple carpenter.

AP: Did you meet Ali?

Burns: I met him once. It was in LA, the mid-to-late 90’s. Definitely the road to Parkinson’s disease. I had a cold and went to a coffee shop to have a cup of tea. I was waiting to take it out, so when I looked back, there was Muhammad Ali in the booth. Until now, I have only had conversations without words with anyone. It was spectacular. It was almost a religious experience. I looked at him and said, “You are Muhammad Ali,” without opening his mouth. And without opening his mouth, he looked at me and said, “Yes, I am.” … I have never waved his hand. It was just the most spectacular.


AP: Do you want to leave PBS and make a movie for one of your streaming services?

Burns: I was able to go to those premium or streaming services, and they would give me a budget. The budget for “Vietnam” turned out to be $ 30 million and they will do it. But they want it within two years. We had to do 10 and a half years. At PBS, they give me a little money and I go out and raise the rest. They just want it to be what I want. Not only can you publish each director’s cut, but you can also control it creatively.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Ali is treated for Ken Burns with a four-part PBS film

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