"The Trials Of Muhammad Ali" Director Bill Siegel Talks About His New Documentary

Director Bill Siegel Talks About “The Trials Of Muhammad Ali” Documentary & The Nation Of Islam

(AllHipHop News) Filmmaker Bill Siegel (Hoop Dreams) wants to keep the important legacy of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali alive. Siegel’s new documentary The Trials Of Muhammad Ali takes an intimate look at “The Greatest Of All Time” including his connection to the Nation of Islam and his refusal to fight in Vietnam.

Life and Times interviewed Siegel to discuss why he chose to cover Ali and some of the people he interviewed for the movie like Minister Louis Farrakhan, his then-wife Khalilah Camacho-Ali, and his brother Rahman Ali.

I really wanted to limit the number of interviewees to an intimate group of people who were there: eyewitness, firsthand story tellers who were with Ali; his brother, his wife at the time… Those people’s stories and perspectives hadn’t been included in most Ali treatments, and certainly not collectively the way they are in this film.

According to Siegel, this was the first time Farrakhan had ever done an interview talking about Ali. The sit-down lasted an hour. The Nation of Islam ended up playing a significant role in the film. Siegel feels that the NOI has been treated as a “footnote” in history, but calls them “remarkable” and wanted to explore their world view.

He expresses a similar opinion about Ali as regards to his place in history beyond his athletic accomplishments.

I think that [particular] Muhammad Ali, over time, has become increasingly forgotten, overlooked or undiscovered by generations coming of age now. If I could do anything to help rectify that and bring the righteous, humane, incredible beyond-the-ring back to the consciousness, I wanted to do that. That’s why I made the film.

To read the full interview visit lifeandtimes.com.

Watch the trailer for The Trials Of Muhammad Ali below.