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When We Were Kings Analysis

933 words - 4 pages

When we were kings directed by Leon Gast is a documentary on the famous "rumble in the jungle" heavy weight championship between George Forman and Muhammad Ali. The fight took place October 30, 1974 in Zaire, Africa.Rumble in the Jungle was the title match between world Heavyweight champion George Foreman and his challenger the former champion Muhammad Ali. The fight took place in Zaire; where it was promoted by Don King, This event was one of Don King's first big promotions as he got both Ali and Forman to sign separate contracts that would give them $5 million if they win and as well as get some big names to perform in Zaire such as James Brown and B.B. King.The main themes and ideas of when we were kings are identity, culture and self esteem, these themes a represented through various visual techniques such as camera work and music.Throughout the film the theme of identity and culture are expressed through camera work, showing a comparison of life styles between Africans and African-Americans, the life style of rich and poor. Ali once describes that there is dignity and freedom is poverty as in America they are spoiled. Muhammad Ali was revered in Zaire, as he was the great African American boxer who stood up against the American Government. The people of Zaire liked that he refused to go to war. Forman was less popular than Ali in Zaire but was the crowed favorite everywhere else. No one thought that Ali can win; Insiders say that in Foreman's dressing room handlers actually prayed he wouldn't kill Ali. Because of these criticisms and his courage Ali, had become a hero. There is a sense of irony in the whole idea of Ali defending the good course and not fighting for himself, as the President in Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator.Muhammad Ali has high self-esteem he is handsome, funny, powerful and a good man. Ali is full of confidence and charisma making him a very likable person. George Foreman had very high self-esteem as well; you could say that his personality is opposite Ali's. He was the man who beat both people that Ali had lost to and unlike Ali who was an agile dancer Foreman relied on brute force and fought by cornering his opponents. Ali and Foreman spent much of their time in Zaire training, Foreman after punching humongous punching bag making the whole room shake he would leave a dent of 'half a watermelon' size. While Foreman was punching the bag Ali would not look at him once, this shows that Ali had no fear and was very confident. The fight between Forman and Ali was sometimes described as Age vs. Youth.Before the first round, one of the interviewee describes Ali's dressing room as...

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