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Saturday, January 14, 2012




The most exciting driver to ever race Formula One, the handsome, charismatic Ayrton Senna became a Brazilian national hero and an icon to racing fans worldwide. But you don't need to know the first thing about racing to be thrilled and moved by Asif Kapadia's high-octane documentary, composed entirely from archival footage. It's an edge-of your-seat documentary that explores the backroom politics, bitter rivalries and the glamour of a sport that leaves no room for error. At the same time, it's a character study of a near-mythic genius who was a man of uncompromising humanity and grace.

Director: Asif Kapadia

Cast: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Frank Williams

Release Date: Aug 12, 2011

Rated PG-13 for some language

Runtime: 1 hr. 44 min.

Genres: Documentary


The best documentaries can take subjects that you are mostly unfamiliar with and still make them thoroughly engaging. Outside of passing mentions in the sports world, I can honestly say I know very little about F1 (Formula 1) racing even less about the actual drivers who compete. Asif Kapadia thoroughly engrossing documentary makes the sports easily accessible and digestible to non fans like me. At its core Senna is story familiar to anyone who follows sports, exemplifying the traits found in a multitude of great champions across the world. We see the endless drive to succeed, the toll losses takes on the individual especially when it’s a result of outside influences and rivalries. Kapadia does an excellent job of showcasing all this via Senna’s life, shown almost entirely through archival footage. Additionally, Kapadia explores his effects on his country and his place as national hero. There’s something inevitable and poignant about the final act. Whether you know how the story ends or not it packs an emotional punch.



  1. So glad you got to see it. I know there is an element of fangirl in my praising of the documentary but I don't care - it's absolutely fantastic!

    It would be great to see more of these being made for some of the greats such as James Hunt or even Prost to get his counter argument :-)


  2. Totally on your recommendation K! I really enjoyed it and would love to see more documentaries about the other drivers, Prost in particular!

  3. On my recommendation! I am now relieved you liked it after my constant gushing about it!


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