When We Were Kings, a 1996 sporting documentary about the historic “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match in 1974 between the two best heavyweight boxers in the world, George Foreman and Muhammid Ali. This fight, held on October 24th, 1974 in the Republic of Congo was one of the biggest sporting events ever and as the documentary shows the build-up to it was intense, revealing contrasting personalities of the fighters.
More than just a sporting event “When We Were Kings” highlights how Ali and Foreman were symbolic of the hopes and dreams of African Americans in a completely different era to the one we live in today. This film is as much of a documentary about society as it is about sporting, providing a unique insight into why these two men (particularly Ali) became legends encapsulating and influencing their sport for many generations to come. It could have gone in the society section but the film's centrepiece is on the sporting event.
Leon Gast directed the movie and was dedicated to the project for 22 years before releasing it in 1996, winning the Acadamy Award for “best feature documentary” that year.