Muhammad Ali may be the most documented athlete in history. He’s already been profiled in When We Were Kings, The Trials of Muhammad Ali and the ’30 for 30′ documentary Muhammad and Larry.
Now, there’s a new documentary I Am Ali that deals with yet another facet of this extraordinary man’s life. This documentary focuses on his family, a heretofore less explored aspect of Ali’s legacy.
Much of his love for his nine children is shown through recordings he made with them over the course of a number of years.
“He showered us all with love and affection,” says Ali’s daughter Hana. “He love to hug and kiss us. He’s just a big ball of love. When Laila and I were growing up, he had so much more time because he was retired most of the time when my parents were married. (Hana and Laila’s mother is model/actress Veronica Porsche.)
“He had a lot more time to spend at home. He recorded when May May and the twins before I was even born. But he majority of the collection that I have are from 1976-1985, about 80-90 hours worth.”
In the film, you hear recordings of him taking his children to school and doing the kinds of normal things that you might not expect a father as celebrated as Ali to do. The recording are also a document of history as Ali was an extraordinary man in extraordinary times who was so respected he was called upon by then-President Carter to assist with the Iran hostage crisis.”
There are also comic moments with George Foreman and Joe Frazier, that convey the trajectory of his boxing career. They are also among the last of Ali’s recorded words – as the famed boxer lost his voice to Parkinson’s disease later in life.
His daughters say that despite his physical infirmities the now 72-year-old Ali has no regrets.
“My father is spiritual and because he’s spiritual, he accepts what happens to him,” says Maryam. “We’ve been able to accept the disease so well because he accepts it so well.
He’ll say things like ‘People have cancer and they’re in pain. I’m not in any pain. I’ll fight this just like I fought Joe Frazier. It’s OK. This is what was meant to be. I’ll use this to raise awareness and money. He’s really dealt with his illness with a lot of class and resilience.”
I Am Ali is in theaters, on iTunes and On Demand this Friday, October 10th.
Click the link above to hear the entire interview!
Hana & Maryum Ali Talk Father’s New Documentary ‘I Am Ali’ was originally published on blackamericaweb.com