The Trials of Muhammad Ali - Philanthropy New York's Documentary Series

Thursday, October 3, 2013 -
5:30pm to 9:30pm EDT
Ford Foundation, 320 East 43rd Street, NYC
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Join us for a wine-and-cheese reception, followed by a screening of the documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali and a brief panel discussion.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali Trailer

The Trials of Muhammad Ali explores Ali’s lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trials traces Ali’s path from poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompass issues of power, race, faith and identity that confront us all.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a boxing film and has no highlight reel. Instead, it focuses on Ali’s toughest bouts: his decision to join a controversial religious group, his battle to overturn a five-year prison sentence for refusing US military service, and his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. While other Ali films focus on his heroic exploits in the ring, they tragically under-examine some of the most noteworthy, provocative and resonant aspects of Ali’s life, such as his relationship with the Louisville Sponsoring Group, the Nation of Islam, and his Muslim faith. In Trials, most of the interviewees have never been featured in any Ali film before, yet are central to his life story and the global impact he has made.



  • John Carlos, USA Track and Field Hall of Fame Athlete and Olympian
  • Robert Lipsyte (Moderator), Ombudsman, ESPN
  • Rachel Pikelny, Filmmaker
  • Bill Siegel, Filmmaker


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