Throwback Reviews


Aidan McFarland

For October I decided to review some documentaries. The documentaries I chose to review are Salesman (1969) and When We Were Kings (1996).

Salesman (1969) is a documentary about door-to-door salesmen who sell Bibles. From the description, it may not sound very interesting, but there are many factors added in that make this film captivating. You are witnessing these salesmen in suburban living rooms trying to sell luxury editions of the Good Book to primarily housewives and elderly couples. Their income depends on selling these Bibles and when they fail to sell them there is a sense of heartbreak. You see these men converse together about the sales they made, the income that they desire, and the ebbs and flows in sales.

When We Were Kings (1996) is a documentary on the 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaïre. This film also shows performances from James Brown, B.B. King, The Spinners, and more, because a music festival, Zaïre 74, was planned to accompany the fight. The leading up to the fight, showing Ali and Foreman each training and being interviewed, and the fight itself were very well documented, which when all put together creates such a great film that everyone should see.