Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World is a biographical documentary focusing on one of the greatest boxing champs to have ever fought in the ring. Despite his boastful nature (Ali is known for proud declarations such as "I am the greatest!" and "I'm pretty!") he is admired greatly by boxing enthusiasts over the world. In interviews with celebrity fans, family members, and former coaches, we learn about the man behind the legend and his life beyond his famous "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" strategy when fighting.
Born Cassius Clay, Jr. to a working-class couple in Louisville Kentucky, Ali won his first championship under his birth name. He later joined the nation of Islam and adopted the moniker he is now famous for. Though his conversion to Islam paired with his bodacious personality made him a controversial figure, Ali's impact as an African American public figure was invaluable to the advancement of the civil rights movement.
Controversy continued to surround Ali as he very publicly refused to be drafted to the military. He faced felony charges for draft evasion and was threatened with a $10,000 fine and jail time. He was also exiled from fighting as a result of his protest. Despite what some considered transgressions against his country, the Supreme Court eventually overturned Ali's case and he continued to maintain his status as an influential figure throughout the world.
Ali returned to the ring and continued to reign as a champion fighter, the adoration and attention of the crowd driving him to continue his career despite the development of concerning symptoms such as a stutter and shaking. The effects of repeated head trauma and an eventual diagnosis of Parkinson's disease finally impacted his ability to continue boxing, though it did not dissuade him from staying in the public eye. Ali was celebrated as sportsman of the century by Sports Illustrated and invited to light the Olympic Torch in spite of his physical limitations.
From inspiring generations of African Americans in the fight for civil rights to influencing the equal treatment of black athletes, Muhammad Ali's contributions to society are tallied and celebrated in this film.