The legend of Muhammed Ali is fairly well known, as are the critiques of his greatness, but the documentary ‘I am Ali’ aims to broach its subject from the point of view of the boxer himself as well as those closest to him. This film is kind of a deep cut. It is definitely aimed at fans that want to know more about Ali beyond just his boxing accomplishments.
This is not a documentary about his fighting career so much as a documentary about the man himself. For this reason there is not a lot of footage of his famous fights. Rather the film is very dialog and interview heavy with a focus on giving viewers a deep and personal understanding of the man behind the fighter.
In terms of production this is a well-made documentary, though it is pretty standard in how it is carried out. The story of Ali is told through interviews, audio clips, and old film footage. There are a profusion of interviewees, including former coaches, journalists, and family members, each offering a unique perspective and great anecdotal storytelling about the great boxer.
While this film does aim to explore the character of Muhammed Ali through the eyes of the boxer and those closest to him it does manage to maintain a somewhat neutral tone. The more controversial elements of his life are discussed, or at least touched on, and while this allows viewers to form their own opinions on the legend’s character it also goes a long way in bringing a more realistic flare to a story that easily could drift into myth.
‘I am Ali’ is an interesting exploration into the life and character of legendary boxer Muhammed Ali told by those closest to him. It will likely be appreciated more by fans of the boxer or of boxing in general than more casual viewers. People looking for a good documentary on Ali’s boxing career would do better looking to one of the many fight-centered documentaries on the boxer.