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In the news this week over surprise engagement to a Big Brother star in the UK, Mike Tyson has found himself to be focal point again, this time at the Sundance Film Festival. The gripping “Tyson” documentary by director and miraculous Tyson wrangler James Toback (who has known the boxer since ’85) enjoyed much adoration and even a standing ovation at its screening at the festival this week.
The film is told entirely in the lisping voice of the former champ in footage culled from countless hours of interviews, the father of six recounts his rise and fall, from early days being bullied as a fat kid (“It was kill or be killed”), and being forced to defend himself in juvenile detention at age 12, to his training with legendary Cus D’Amato, to his days as world heavyweight champ and ultimately, his grisly public fall from grace – including a prison term and the infamous ear biting incident. Along the way, it’s revealed, Tyson squandered almost $400 million and lost nearly everything he’d ever earned, physically and emotionally.
The film is slated for commercial release on April 24.