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Muhammad Ali: Documenting a Legend

A Conversation with Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon

A History Film Forum Program

Evening Members-Only Program

Monday, October 4, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1P0750
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Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves and robe (Gift from Muhammad Ali to the National Museum of American History)

REGISTRATION ADVISORY: This program is free for members, but registration is required.

The new documentary Muhammad Ali brings to life one of the most indelible figures of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans across the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace, and power in the ring and charm and playful boasting outside of it.

The film offers an inside look at the many layers of Ali’s life, tracing his rise from his Louisville roots to his career as a celebrated athlete who captivated America with his boxing braggadocio to his lasting image as symbol of Black pride.

Written, directed, and produced by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, the film reveals the compelling and complicated character of this American legend and why his story still resonates today.

Join Fath Davis Ruffins, a curator at the Smithsonian American History Museum, for an intriguing conversation with the filmmakers about the making of the documentary.

Muhammad Ali premiered on PBS September 19. Stream it here.

Note: A screening of the film is not part of the program.

About the History Film Forum

The History Film Forum is a monthly online series from the Smithsonian that explores history on the screen and the evolution of film as public history. Screenings and discussions explore how and why film is so elemental to the way Americans understand and experience that history. Programs are presented in partnership with the National Museum of American History and through the support of Dan Manatt and Democracy Films. Learn more here.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.