Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali

  • 25 Sep - 01 Oct, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

No review can capture the essence of Netflix’s Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali as succinctly as the exact words of Ilyasha Al-Shabazz, the youngest daughter of the civil rights icon. She opens the film by saying “It was destiny that my father and Cassius Clay would meet. Three short years that they would spend in their lives, that destiny created for them. That was their blood brotherhood.” In the 1960s, Muhammad Ali, revered as “The Greatest” both in and out of the boxing ring, and Malcolm X, whose stirring rhetoric appeared to counter the nonviolent movement led by Martin Luther King Jr., took solace in one another as their common faith made them seem like two peas in a pod. However, the young heavyweight champion of the world appeared to have been caught in the middle of the growing rift between Malcolm and Elijah. Upon Malcolm’s departure from the Nation, Muhammad chose his spiritual father over his spiritual brother. The end of the friendship became one of society’s greatest “what ifs” as Malcolm X was assassinated not too long afterwards in 1965. Rooted in the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, director Marcus Clarke brings in family members, friends and activists to provide context around the kinship the two men had built in that short time. What’s truly special is hearing from Muhammad’s only brother Rahman, who was often at the boxer’s side and witnessed the blossoming relationship up close.