When We Were Kings Analysis

Submitted By yhailie
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Pages: 4

1) When We Were Kings is a 1996 a documentary film about the heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and George Foreman matchup in 1974. The film goes through the buildup to the fight and has interviews with both the fighters along with experts; Spike Lee, Norman Mailer, and George Plimpton. They described their impressions of Zaire, the fight itself, and mostly their impressions of Ali. Spike Lee is an American film director, producer, writer and actor and has produced many films. Norman Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, actor and political candidate. George Plimpton’s view comes from a much different perspective because although he was an American journalist, writer, editor, actor, he also played quarterback for the Detroit Lions and later played for the Baltimore Colts. Later after the exhibition games he wrote a book about his experience. In my opinion the “talking heads” were persuasive in their analysis of Ali and the fight. Although sometimes using opinions they persuaded with logical proof, which focused on facts and evidence. For example the experts used reasoning from specific instances and made a conclusion from them. You can make a generalization as a whole because of Ali wining previous fights. Ali had many winning streaks and there was proof from examinations before the fight. Ali was 32 and was thought to be in his prime. I also believe the “talking experts” could have possibly been convinced by how Ali thought about himself and boasted of his skills. For example he would say, “I’m young, I’m pretty and I can’t possibly be beat” (Ali, Muhammad). The more you hear of someone and what they believe; you start to believe it as well. Another method used was credibility proof, which mainly means your audience has worthy reasoning to believe you as a spokesperson. Each and every expert is a credible source and comes off as very intelligent and explicit. They all came from a noble education and back their material up with statistics. The more knowledge and expertise the audience sees you as having then the more likely they are to trust and credit you.
2) Ali wasn’t expected to win but was loved by so many of the African people. He came across confident, borderline arrogant I would say. Like I mentioned earlier when Muhammad Ali stated, “I’m young, I’m pretty, I’m handsome and can’t possibly be beat” this is a perfect example. Ali expressed himself through self-concept, which is who you are through an image. It’s how you distinguish yourself , through your feelings and beliefs about all of your strengths and weaknesses as well as capabilities and limits. “Self concept develops from the images that others have of you, comparison between yourself and others, your cultural experiences, and your evaluation of your own thoughts and behavior” (DeVito, 51). Africa viewed Muhammad Ali as a heroic figure. He was the underdog for the fight of 1974 going against George Foreman who was the champion after the fight with Frazier. Yet he wasn’t expected to win he was adored by so many. Ali was aware of his weaknesses so when training for the fight he focused on his drawbacks. He didn’t show his best, he wanted to train his body for his disadvantages. Another theory used was impromptu speech that involves no preparation. He