“City of Ali” details how the death of Muhammad Ali brought the people of his Kentucky hometown – and the world – together for one unforgettable week.
On June 3, 2016, Muhammad Ali’s passing came in the midst of a bitter U.S. presidential election, a proposed Muslim ban, and the global expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Yet on the day of Ali’s funeral procession, more than 100,000 people lined the streets of Louisville to celebrate his life. Over one billion people worldwide tuned in to events, including Ali’s memorial held in the packed KFC YUM! Center. Stories of the Louisville Lip’s wit, generosity, swagger and commitment to justice were retold by President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Lonnie Ali, and many others.
Often heralded “The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century,” Ali was an inspiration to the world, not only for his athletic accomplishments, but in his fight against racial injustice and all forms of hatred and prejudice. Ali’s death left his beloved hometown of Louisville with a huge question, “How do you say goodbye to the greatest?” A question they answered in full as the Ali Center welcomed a multitude of guests. The city carried out his final wishes and made sure that The Greatest had a farewell worthy of his legacy.
“City of Ali” explores Ali’s lifelong relationship with his hometown through candid interviews with friends and relatives whose history with The Champ dates back to his childhood home at 3302 Grand Avenue. Interviewees include Asaad Ali, Lonnie Ali, Rahaman Ali, Rasheda Ali, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, members of the Muhammad Ali Center and many more.
We also hear behind-the-scenes accounts of this unprecedented celebration of one man’s life from those who planned the events. As well as thoughtful reflections from visitors such as NBC’s Craig Melvin, TV legend Dick Cavett, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 4-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, ESPN’s Hannah Storm and many others.