Muhammad Ali was introduced to the world via his legendary prowess in the boxing ring, but those who know the man behind the now ubiquitous name will tell you that he was so much more than a Heavy Weight champion. In the upcoming documentary I AM ALI, director Clare Lewins offers an intimate look into the family man who loved as hard as he fought. Audio recordings of conversations between Ali and his children are meshed with testimonials from his family and boxing community greats like Mike Tyson, George Foreman and his former business manager Gene Kilroy, to create a narrative like no other Ali documentary you’ve seen before.
WatchLOUD was invited to speak with two of Ali’s daughters, Maryum and Hana, along with Lewins to discuss the making of the film. In the course of our conversation we asked about the premature rumors of his death in 2013.
“I’m in the Parkinson’s community a lot and people don’t understand this disease,” his daughter Maryum Ali tells WatchLOUD.com. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological syndrome, in 1984 and has not been in the public eye as much as a result. “People remember my father healthy and vibrant then they see Parkinson’s and don’t understand why he looks that way…just because you have Parkinson’s doesn’t mean you sit home and you’re isolating yourself. He doesn’t want people feeling sorry for him. He’s at peace, he’s at home. He loves his life, he’s with his children, so we love seeing those pictures because that’s how we see our father.”
Watch the full video above.