When We Were Kings is the Pick of the Week

A landmark documentary headlines a week of very low-brow releases.
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I'm not really a sports guy, and I'm obviously not athletic. However, I will watch documentaries about sports. There have been some phenomenal ones such as Hoop Dreams, The Endless Summer, Tokyo Olympiad, Pumping Iron, and 1996's When We Were Kings, which not only tells the story of the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match of champion George Forman and then electrifying challenger Muhammad Ali, but also showcases the often harrowing relationship between African Americans and the country of Africa, especially during the Black Power movement. It's an often moving document of racial politics, music, and Ali's magnetism that remains one of the rightly celebrated non-fiction films ever made.

The supplements (albeit limited) of the new Criterion release sound informative. They include a new interview with producer David Soneberg, an interview from 1997 with director Leon Gast, and Soul Power: a 2008 documentary about the 1974 music festival in Zaire weeks before the Foreman/Ali match. There is also the trailer and new essay by critic Kelefa Sanneh. This should be a worthwhile addition to any sports enthusiast's/documentary lover's collection.

A few other releases:

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: A 1973 TV-movie starring Kim Darby as a mundane housewife who discovers that the mansion she inherited from her grandmother is home to a horde of creepy, murderous mini-demons.

Zoltan: Hound of Dracula: Russian soldiers accidently unleash the servant of Dracula, and his bloodthirsty dog, during their explorations of Romania. They set out to America to find his last descendant and stop the murder spree.

The Dead Center: A psychiatrist's sanity is put to test after one of his patients informs him that he is dead and has brought something really bad from the other side.

David Crosby: Remember My Name: A documentary portrait of the music legend's often difficult journey to realizing his true self through fear, honesty, regret, and understanding.

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