06/06/2011

Senna


Brazil's Aryton Senna was a three time Formula One World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time. Despite having little or no interest in Formula One, British director Asif Kapadia has made a brilliantly revealing documentary which utilises all the footage afforded to him and acts as a Hollywood story rather than a doc with endless talking heads not divulging anything of interest. It charts his arrival to F1 in the mid-80s and leads right up to his death and monstrously affecting funeral which saw over 3 million people line the streets of Brazil.

While the politics of the sport and his personal conflict as a deeply religious yet hugely competitive man are interesting, it's his rivalry with France's Alain Prost that is the most fascinating. Even as teammates their constant game of one-upmanship is such perfect viewing it could have been written by a Hollywood screenwriter. Senna's life could have easily been a biopic as opposed to a documentary but the final product is fascinating, entertaining and ultimately heartbreaking and no knowledge of F1 is needed to enjoy what will surely be the best documentary of 2011.