Senna

If Imola’s Tamburello corner hadn’t claimed the life of three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna da Silva, maybe melanoma would have done. The home videos of him jetskiing, waterskiing and yachting that feature in this excellent documentary show the playful side of a man utterly focused on winning. Never very comfortable in the limelight – or with F1 politics – Senna was never much of a joker but his sincerity, humility and dedication made him a heroic figure for many fans. Not to mention his almost supernatural talent for driving in the wet.

His run-ins with Alain Prost were what made F1 watchable in the late 1980s and are what make this such fascinating viewing. Asif Kapadia’s film reveals the ego and machinations of the era and there’s a lovely ‘Rosebud moment’ at the end that captures Senna’s attitude perfectly. 8/10

Released August 11, 2011.

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2 thoughts on “Senna

  1. I loved this film, even though I knew how it would end. It was a very clever look at the man rather than just the racer; he was cut throat on the track and had some physical altercations in the pits with Prost that this doco didn’t cover – this is a fanzine film of Senna and it showed a highly motivated, single minded extraordinary racing driver in the best light possible. Your review fits the film really well.

  2. Ta, love. A lot of the Senna mythology is tied in to the fact that he died, of course. I didn’t find him very interesting at the time because we was so single-minded and humourless, like many sportspeople. Prost was the more complex character.

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