Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

According to Pete McCormack’s gripping documentary Facing Ali, Larry Holmes, the heavyweight boxing champion from 1978 to 1985, told Muhammad Ali after Holmes beat the shit out of Ali in 1980 that he loved him.

For Facing Ali, McCormack interviewed ten fighters who had faced Ali at least once in their career, with varying degrees of success. For example, Holmes beat Ali (handily) at the end of his career and George Foreman probably should have (but didn’t) at the peak of his. Each fighter has a level of deference to Ali and his Greatness (capital “G”), Ken Norton (who defeated Ali in 1973) thought just fighting him changed his life because he was broke before stepping into the ring with Ali.

Facing Ali is told through interviews with the boxers and has no narrator, but the film remains remarkably cohesive throughout. Ali liked to boast of being the greatest and here McCormack lets ten people who fought Muhammad Ali agree.

{Facing Ali screens again on Saturday, May 30 at the Egyptian at 1:45pm.}