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Directed by Bill Siegel

United States 2013 86 mins. In English

Cassius Clay’s transformation to Muhammad Ali—his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War—was one of the defining acts of personal conscience in the 1960s, a riveting one-man challenge to institutional racism, religious intolerance, and a justice system wielded to send a message about voicing impertinent protest. Banned from his livelihood and convicted of a felony with a five-year prison sentence, Ali was forced to spend four years fighting his way to the Supreme Court. Siegel’s (THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND) film, rich with archival footage and interviews, examines Ali’s complicated relationships with the key voices of the era and the impact of his actions on a culture that still struggles with the issues of race, identity, faith, and justice he stood for. “An invigorating film that brings the long-forgotten controversy to life…. Captures the thrill of Ali’s personality even for viewers with little interest in the sweet science.”—The Hollywood Reporter.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.