In her new documentary, I Am Ali, director Clare Lewins gets to the heart of what makes boxing legend Muhammad Ali so special and reveals a very personal side of the man, not just as a fighter, but as a father, husband, brother, friend, and someone who stood up for what he believed in. Ali lends his charismatic voice to his own story through audio recordings he made of his family and friends which have never been heard outside the family. Along with present day interviews, archival footage, and previously unseen family photographs, they provide the narrative spine of this very unique film now playing in limited release.
In an exclusive interview, Lewins talked about how she first gained access to Muhammad Ali’s family, friends, and the inner circle of the boxing world with the help of his former business manager Gene Kilroy, the special bond she developed with Ali’s daughters Hana and May May, her surprise at discovering the audio tapes Ali had made of conversations with his family in the 70’s and 80’s, the deliberate decision to begin the film with Ali’s last fight, how the movie affirms Ali’s love for his family and his positive outlook on life, the financing for the project, Barbara Broccoli’s involvement, and what’s next. Hit the jump to read the interview.