I had seen When We Were Kings previously but it was long enough ago that I couldn’t really remember it. So, while relaxing this Sunday post photo scavenger hunt and flicking through PictureBox, I decided to watch it again as it’s only my top 50 documentaries list.
Now, perhaps I viewed this in the wrong light, but I didn’t find it particularly educational. It’s not really a sports doc but more a documentary on black culture around the time of the Ali / Foreman fight and the fight’s significance, with a slant on African culture but also mentioning African American* culture. However, it didn’t really go into enough detail on any particular subject, it was very much like somebody made a documentary based on the Rumble in the Jungle wiki page and stetched it out for an hour and a half.
Those interviewed and the footage itself was worth watching, though I’d preferred to have seen, if not the full fight, then at least more of it. Also I would have liked more about both of the boxers and more of the impact after the fight, rather than just the build up to it; Foreman’s depression and comebacks and even his grill, Ali’s decline in boxing and his coping with Parkinsons, for example.
* I also don’t get African American, surely it’s just American? There can only be very few peoples in America that have been there long enough to truly claim American heritage. Even those that went over as slaves would have started to arrive no more than 50 years after the first significant number of settlers.
Anybody that identifies as an African American is more than welcome to comment below.