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When We Were Kings

             "Beneath a surface of entertainment, texts can present powerful social commentaries.
             Intertextuality plays an integral role in the understanding and perception of a text. The attitudes that the viewer's hold on the social commentaries are formed in part by the context that the author creates but also from their own context in the form of past experiences and knowledge of other texts. The feature documentary When We Were Kings directed by Leon Gast is set in 1974 and deals with the lead up to and actual fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, this is widely known as the greatest fight of all time. Gast utilises a number of techniques such as structure, juxta positioning, shot construction and symbolism in order to convey to the viewer the social commentaries of that time and also to position the viewer to fell a certain way towards them. The social commentaries found in Leon Gast's When We Were Kings are identity, freedom, growth, religion and individuality. Through readings and viewing of other texts such as the movies Ali and Remember the Titans and the lyrics of the song "When We Were Kings" viewers are able to form or reinforce positive attitudes upon the social commentaries of individuality, growth, freedom and individuality.
             Identity is one of the most predominant social commentaries or issues that is conveyed by Leon Gast in his feature documentary When We Were Kings. The social commentary of identity is particularly relevant to black identity and the re-discovery of black African American culture. Leon Gast has conveyed this social commentary through the symbolism of the drum and montage. A predominant example of Gast utilising montage is when Muhammad Ali and soulful jazz music are juxta positioned by persecution and chaos in Zaire and the Ku Klux Klan. Finally an example of Gast conveying the social commentary Identity would be through the usage of the technique symbolism in regards to the drum.

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