I’m starting to hear a lot of buzz via friends and assorted social media acquaintances about “Senna,” the documentary on legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. The film, told entirely through archival footage of and interviews with Senna, won audience awards at the 2011 Sundance and Los Angeles Film Festivals and is already the third highest grossing documentary in history in Britain. It’s coming to theaters next month; here’s the trailer.
For some more background on the film, an official synopsis:
“Mythical driver Ayrton Senna, considered to be one of the all-time great racers in Formula One history, was to racing what Muhammad Ali was to boxing. ‘Senna,’ directed by Asif Kapadia (‘The Warrior’), turns the spotlight on this legendary Brazilian athlete, as his pulse-pounding story unfolds through new archival images that lend cinematic gravity to the documentary form.”
And here’s what Stephen Saito had to say about the film, in his review from South by Southwest:
“‘Senna’ is so well-crafted, from its emotionally wrenching bookends to the seamless way the film simplifies the unexpectedly byzantine backroom machinations of the sport that the driver was so frustrated by (many of which are caught with almost shocking fly-on-the-wall footage), it’s hard to argue the director and a team of editors hasn’t achieved the closest approximation of Senna’s dream of ‘pure racing’ onscreen.”
I’m not a big Formula One guy — and by “not a big Formula One guy” I mean I’ve never watched even a minute of a single race in my entire life — but the film sounds fascinating and I could definitely go for some “pure racing” onscreen. We’ll have more coverage of “Senna” when the film opens on August 12.