The film program at the Muhammad Ali Center provides a space where community, education, and film meet. We collaborate with individuals, local organizations, and educational institutions to offer accessible experiences and develop meaningful conversations around issues impacting our community. We present the best in independent, international, and classic cinema, as well as screenings that enhance our temporary exhibits and celebrate our permanent collection.
National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.
Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of the protagonists to Afghanistan where she learns about a horrendous incident. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption. National Bird gives rare insight into the U.S. drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors, connecting their stories as never seen before in a documentary. Its images haunt the audience and bring a faraway issue close to home.
Guest speaker TBD.
Real Boy is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.
Guest speaker TBD.
League of Hope
On October 18, 1988, Police Officer Michael J. Buczek was killed in the line of duty while working in Washington Heights. The Heights, at that time, was one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York City, an epicenter of the crack epidemic, and a precinct leader in homicides. There was no trust between the police and the residents of the community.
To honor their son’s name, the Buczek family, along with the NYPD, decided to do something about that rift and started a little league in Washington Heights to help the children of the neighborhood. Over the last 28 years, it’s become a key ingredient in building trust and stability. Each team’s jersey bears the name of a different fallen officer, and those cops’ families come to the field and see that their sons’ names are living on. Police officers coach the teams and are role models for the kids. Since the league’s inception, 35 former players have gone on to become NYPD officers themselves. This story is especially relevant right now, as we continually witness incidents between police and community stemming from mistrust and a racial divide. League of Hope brings you the story of the change that’s possible when communities and police officers work together.
Click here to register and reserve your seat for this free screening of League of Hope.