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Wednesday, February 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Documentarian Ken Burns making film on Muhammad Ali

In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Ken Burns speaks at the PBS’s “The Vietnam War” panel at the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali. (Willy Sanjuan / Invision/AP)
In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Ken Burns speaks at the PBS’s “The Vietnam War” panel at the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali. (Willy Sanjuan / Invision/AP)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment.

The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Burns, his daughter Sarah and David McMahon collaborated for a PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson that debuted last year.

The tentative plan is to air the Ali film in 2021.

Sarah Burns said the outpouring of good will at Ali’s death made it easy to forget how divisive it was when the former Cassius Clay took the Ali name when he converted to Islam and refused to join the Army during the Vietnam War. She said filmmakers want to examine what influenced Ali’s choices and how he stuck with them despite public condemnation.

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