A prestiege picture, Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali is an upcoming documentary from Netflix and the trailer for the story of the friendship between two of the most iconic and important figures in Black American history has just been released. The special combines archive footage alongside interviews with family and friends of the pair, and delves into the first meeting of brash boxing legend Ali and Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam’s most recognized leader, as well and exploring how their relationship developed and how over time they went from being friends to going separate ways due to their shifting ideals.
The trailer lays down the way political views and faith brought the two men together through their vocal calls for Black freedom in America. Despite their initial bonding through their Islamic conversion, it would ultimately be their differing beliefs that would see them turn their backs on each other after being like brothers for three years. At one point in the trailer, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton is seen saying, “They define a whole generation to be themselves and be bold,” and many would completely stand by that declaration.
The official synopsis for Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali reads: “Blood Brothers tells the extraordinary and ultimately tragic story of the friendship between two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, and Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam’s – and black America’s – most incendiary and charismatic leader. This was the unlikeliest of friendships – the brash Olympic Champion who spoke in verse to the amusement of the white press and the ex-con intellectual-turned-revolutionary who railed against the evils of white oppression and dismissed sports as a triviality. But their bond was deep, their friendship real.”
Based on the novel, Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, the documentary is produced by Kenya Barris and includes new interviews with the younger brother of Ali and daughter of Malcolm X, as well as new footage from the historical archives that provide context to the timeline of their three year friendship and route to their eventual fallout, and video of some of their many rousing and passionate speeches that they made to have their beliefs heard.
The novel used previously unreleased sources such as FBI records and personal papers belonging to Malcolm X to tell the story of the pair in a way never seen before. Including a highly detailed account of how Malcolm X helped turn Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, one of the biggest symbols of Black pride and independence the US had seen at that time, and following their friendship to the crucial event of Malcolm’s barring from the Nation of Islam for his criticism of leader Elijah Muhammad, an event that saw Muhammad Ali cut ties with Malcolm, which then contributed to the latter’s assassination in 1965. Blood Brothers: Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X becomes available to stream on Netflix from September 9.