When We Were Kings
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When We Were Kings

1996, Sports  -   12 Comments
Ratings: 7.96/10 from 23 users.

When We Were KingsBelieve the hype. This much-praised documentary about one of the most famous boxing matches in history deserves every one of its accolades. Blending sports drama and biography with a touch of political analysis, When We Were Kings relates the who, when, where, and most importantly the why of the 1974 George Foreman/Muhammad Ali world championship fight in Zaire.

Splicing together old news footage, photos, and contemporary interview clips, director Leon Gast captures the excitement and chaos that led up to the famed "Rumble in the Jungle" and the incredible characters and events surrounding the thrilling bout.

The documentary explores a gamut of issues that defined the 1970s and impacted the African-American community: the Vietnam War and the draft, the nascent "Black is Beautiful" movement and idealization of Mother Africa, and the brutal reality of post-colonial dictatorships. But it is the charismatic and bombastic Muhammad Ali at the center of it all who steals the show with the sheer force of his inimitable personality. When We Were Kings reminds us why...

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12 Comments / User Reviews

Leave a Reply to Mike Cancel reply

  1. Raymond White

    Say what you will about Ali, he the man knew how to work an audience and his opponents. Pity that boxing isn't as famous in the states or Europe, as American football, or football.

    It is however, quite popular in Africa, with some of the younger talents, fighting great obstacles to continue in the sport they hold so dear.

    If you are interested in the sport, visit the following link to find the latest news, documentaries and interviews on boxing:

  2. Sharron M

    Ali stand was against killing innocent people Asian people, not fighting for sport of the game. That is a big difference also doing these times racial discrimination was the norm of the day. Blacks were not respected, and look at as subhuman. Why should a black man lay his life down for a country that had not laid down their hate...Ali you are the greatest.

    1. ProudinUS

      I agree with you out of love for the sport. Ali wouldn't have thought twice about going to war if he thought it would've been for a noble cause. His egotistical pride was well earned through ambition and good work ethics....and a little God given talent.
      Back in the 60's blacks were not respected still and Ali had way to much back bone to bow down as if blacks were still in the slave era/centuries. He knew he was the champ...and he also knew that his defiance against the US gov. would make him a fortune in the future....media+human curiousity+supply & demand+endorsments+public out cry+anger+ our human instinct to watch people fail or succeed = ....$$$$$ in his pocket. He says Don King was a weasel, but I think he loved the dude for his ability to draw a crowd....they all did.
      In any event, Ali back in the day was one class act...but that whole Leon Spinks thing????

  3. Paul Ray

    Fighting in the war was against his religion but punching men half to death was acceptable????? Ooooooops, i have i stated the obvious!!

    1. Aaron J Lowton

      Punching men half to death?... Ali never fought weaklings ... His religion had little to do with his objections to fighting in the war.. I suggest you grow a bigger brain before commenting in future!!

    2. ross rossiter

      You haven't stated anything, you've over simplified something with a half baked statement that makes no point whatsoever. Ali never said he was a pacifist, he could just see the truth in the nationalistic fervor and expansionist foreign policy that was the Vietnam war. Had America been invaded? No, they came up with another bogey man, namely the supposed communist threat, to justify carpet bombing yet another brown skinned peasant class of a far away country. Incidentally 5 day eventing (horses jumping fences) is a lot more dangerous than boxing, countess people paralysed , some killed, yet no one ever calls for it's banning or censorship.

  4. GoughLewis

    This film is blocked in Canada. I was going to watch it again, but could not. This is an absolutely amazing film. Highly recommended.... two thumbs up.

  5. Mike

    You have to use a proxy that gives you a Chinese ip

  6. Irish Shane

    If blocked... use a proxy (hopefully it should work

    A must watch for any sports fan

  7. Patrick

    It's blocked in Columbus, Ohio, also. I've seen it before, so I'm not sweating it, but it sucks for those that haven't seen it, because it is an awesome documentary.

  8. h.g wells

    This great documentary is blocked in the UK!?!?!

  9. Allan Aligula

    When We Were Kings was mentioned to me by a friend as a must...Now that I have watched it... I am definitely going to add it in my library :)

    Last but not least, kudos to you guys.