Senna: A Formula One Driver’s Life on Film
Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna is often described as the most talented, bold driver in the sport’s history. In 1994, he had three world championships under his belt and a legion of devoted fans around the world, most notably in his native country. The Brazilian flag was never far from reach when he took his place on the podium. Then, at age 34, he crashed his Williams-Renault open wheel car into the wall at the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994. His death stunned the world, and prompted the FIA to increase safety regulations in it’s speedy cars. No one has been killed in a Formula One race since.
Director Asif Kapadia and screen writer Manish Pandey have crafted an intimate portrait of Senna, a bold, quixotic, talented and spirited driver entirely from vintage footage shot during his life. Beginning with his career as a young go-kart driver, the film traces his ascent to the winner’s circle and pronounced rivalry with French driver Alain Prost. Intimate glimpses of life are provided in home video from his family shot at sea near his home in Sao Paulo. The race announcers, commentators and a few voice overs propel the narrative forward, while the mesmerizing footage of Senna in and out the car dominates the screen. I wrote a full review of the film in my blog “Street Savvy” for Forbes. The quality and engrossing story garnered wins at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was screened at a single theater in New York this week. Formula One fans snuck out of work to take in afternoon screenings, which left them tearful. Highly recommended for fans of the sports, but also for a strong story that stand on its own, about a man who chased his dream, until the race was cut short.
The trailer follows: