SENNA is an engrossing documentary that has all the drama and suspense of a cinematic movie. Even if you have never heard of the Brazilian race car driver Ayrton Senna, or have no interest in Formula One racing, you will still be captivated by the singular genius talent of a young passionate and driven individual who could live no other way than where his heart lead him. This was his greatest strength and also his greatest weakness and ultimately led to his fatal, untimely end.
I saw this film just after the recent fatal tragedy involving two time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon, who was killed in a 15 car crash during a race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, making this movie seem even more topical and poignant now.
You will be captivated by the personality of this engaging young man with an unbelievable passion for driving since he was only thirteen years old and competing in go-kart races in South America. The producers of the film had the complete support and co-operation of the Senna family and had access to some amazing home video footage of Senna during his early days of racing.
The producers of this documentary clearly felt extremely passionate about bringing Senna’s story to the screen and doing it full justice, which was instrumental in getting the support of Senna’s family and also the full backing and co-operation of the Formula One organization, who provided unlimited access to previously unseen archival behind the scenes footage.
We get to see Senna’s whole career as a driver with intimate family video and narrated by everyone who was a part of his racing life including his mother, father and sister and many drivers who raced with him. Allowing the film footage to tell Ayrton’s story from his own perspective and using his voice gives the film the feeling of a personal drama.
We also get amazing footage from the driver’s seat of Senna’s Formula One cars while he is racing in all of his most important races, including the one he met his fatal destiny in. The camera footage from inside and outside the cars are absolutely engaging and provide such an important immersive dimension to the film, that you forget that you’re watching a documentary.
Highly engaging in its story as well as its subject, this film and the personality behind it will stay with you long after the chequered flag waves and will give you the feeling of having known intimately, someone extraordinary. And even though we know what happened to Ayrton, after getting to know him as a person, seeing exactly how and why it happened is heartbreaking and emotional.
It’s an inspired documentary for an inspirational personality. Don’t miss it.