Senna

NO FEAR. NO LIMITS. NO EQUAL.

Asif Kapadia’s breakthrough as a documentary filmmaker is a critically lauded portrait of Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian racing driver who became one of the sport’s greatest, eventually dying in an accident while racing in 1994. After breaking through in the 1980s, he became famous for being fast (always in pole position), his multiple wins and the rivalry with another of the sport’s icons, Alain Prost. The film uses solely archival footage to create a rich, varied portrait of Senna – and it becomes a truly immersive experience. We learn how committed to the safety of the sport he was, how he handled fame and what role faith played in his life (and the charity causes he fought for). New and old audio interviews with the people in Senna’s life bring additional meaning to what we’re seeing. 

2011-Britain. 107 min. Color. Produced by Chris Berend, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, James Gay-Rees. Directed by Asif Kapadia. Screenplay: Manish Pandey. Editing: Gregers Sall, Chris King.

Trivia: Co-executive produced by Kevin Macdonald.

BAFTA: Best Documentary Film, Editing. 

Last word: “Lots of film-makers over the years approached the Senna family. Oliver Stone, Michael Mann and I’m pretty sure Ridley Scott all approached, and were told no. Antonio Banderas wanted to play Senna. The main thing was they all wanted to make a film about his final weekend at Imola in 1994. The family didn’t want that. They preferred what we wanted to do, which was a three-act drama celebrating his life, from archive footage.” (Kapadia, The Guardian)

 

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