This is a must-see documentary. As its tagline promises: Time Tells A Different Story.
Boxing serves as the vehicle for much deeper examinations of media manipulation, the nature of courage, racial identity, the power of symbolism, contest of will, the importance of forgiveness.
When I wrote a piece on False Icons in Sport on Barking Carnival examining many of these themes over a year ago, I know that I was expressing a distinctly minority viewpoint, and it certainly touched some nerves, so I found the documentary's re-examination fascinating as it's told from the Frazier perspective. I would also argue, a fact-based perspective.
More crucially, the final thirty minutes of the documentary provides an amazing tribute to the physical courage of both men, what happens when two men are willing to die to win, and you're literally wincing in the last few rounds watching it play out.
I loved these quotes from filmmaker John Dower.
On meeting Frazier and Joe's understanding that his side has never been told:
He likes his suits and hats and he kind of looked like a sort of black Jay Gatsby; just immaculate. And his opening gambit to me was, where have you been? And I said, well, what do you mean? He said, I've been here since 1964. What took you so long?
On one of Ali's early victims in the ring:
There's a great quote from a boxer who was one of Ali's early victims who also got taunted quite heavily by him. And he said after one of their grueling fights, there's so much contempt and hate in the world and within man. And men hire prize fighters to smash the hate out of each other.
For more boxing flavor, be sure to check out my article: Requiem For A Matador