The Trials of Muhammad Ali

This is the story of Ali’s toughest bout: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The Trials of Muhammad Ali explores Ali’s exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The story of the explosive crossroads of Muhammad Ali’s life, after the famed boxer’s conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War left him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence.

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Trials of Muhammad Ali: Preview

A story of the famed boxer’s toughest bout of all: his battle to overturn the prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali’s exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.

Muhammad Ali Confronted and Redeemed

In this opening excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Trials of Muhammad Ali, the famed boxer appears via satellite on Eamonn Andrews U.K. talk show in 1968, where he’s confronted by David Susskind, a U.S. TV host, who calls Ali “a disgrace to his country and a convicted felon.” This is contrasted with a more … READ MORE

Ali and Captain Sam: Why Are We Called Negroes?

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Trials of Muhammad Ali, “Captain Sam,” a minister in the Nation of Islam in Miami, recalls his first meeting with the famed boxer. Ali, inspired by Malcolm X, asked rhetorically, “Why are we called Negroes… why’s everyone else making progress and yet we lag so far behind?”

Inspired By the Greatest To Be Her Best

In a boxing gym in San Francisco, Muhammad Ali continues to inspire. Meet National Boxing Champion and US Olympic hopeful Nargis Shaghasi, an Afghan American female boxer whose success inside and outside of the ring come from bridging her passion and determination for boxing and culture.

“The Mock Trials of Muhammad Ali”

In this video extra from the Independent Lens documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali, 30 high schools take on Ali’s legal struggle in a 2010 mock trial competition held in his home state of Kentucky. Students utilized trial materials taken directly from Clay v. United States (1971), and the short film interweaves footage from the … READ MORE

The Trials of Muhammad Ali: Q&A with Bill Siegel

Guest blogger Tom Roston (“DocSoup Man”) interviews filmmaker Bill Siegel about his acclaimed film The Trials of Muhammad Ali, which premieres on Independent Lens April 14. Siegel reveals his experience showing the film to Ali and his wife, and how this isn’t just another Ali doc.

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Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with 8 Documentaries

November is Native American Heritage Month, but that wasn’t always the case. At one point, it was a single day to honor Native American history, and before that, there was no official government recognition at all. The history of the day that became a month is actually quite interesting, first proposed by the Native American … READ MORE

Filmmaker Discusses Daisy Bates and Black History Month

Independent Lens is kicking off Black History Month this week with Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock (premieres Thursday, February 2 at 10pm in some markets; check local listings). We caught up with filmmaker Sharon La Cruise to talk about how she came to the project, and why so many people have never heard … READ MORE