Racing Movie Project: Senna

SennaTitle: Senna

Year: 2010

Directed by: Asif Kapadia

Plot: A documentary about three-time F1 world champion Ayrton Senna.

Rating: ⚐⚐⚐⚐⚐ (out of 5)

My thoughts: While I’ve been been around cars and racing my whole life, I never really followed F1. But about 10 years ago, that changed. And I am now among the legions of fans who can’t start their Sunday morning without watching the F1 race. As I kept watching, I wanted to learn more about the history of F1. And there was one name I kept hearing over and over again — Senna.

Thanks to this 2010 documentary, I was able to learn more about this talented driver and what he meant to F1. And why so many people still talk about him more than 20 years later.

I felt like I got to know the man because much of the documentary was told in his own words. He was very candid in his interviews, and I had to wonder whether that would be the same in present day. Some of my favorite footage was from the drivers’ meetings — just one of the many things we don’t get to see from behind the scenes.

After watching Senna (and Rush), I learned that one thing has never changed — the politics of F1.  Should learning to “play the game” be part of racing? Senna had the talent on the track, but you could say that politics lost Senna the championship in 1989. Is talent on the track enough? Is that right?

The other part of the movie that fascinated me was just how much he was beloved in his native Brazil. And how much he loved Brazil. In a way, it is hard to relate to in the United States because no race car driver — let alone F1 driver– would be so universally worshipped here.

I loved Senna the race car driver after watching this the first time, and I loved him even more after rewatching the movie this weekend. This documentary also made me a little sad because I hated seeing a great career cut way too short and because I missed out on this era of F1 racing. But I can honestly say that I am now a Senna fan. Were you a Senna fan before watching this documentary? Did this change your view in any way?

Please discuss what you love about Senna in the comments below or on Twitter. I’d love to know your thoughts! And please share with other race fans. The more, the merrier!

Next week: I’ll be watching Driven — which proves that, just because it has racing, doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. I think there may be some hate-watching going on this week.

One thought on “Racing Movie Project: Senna

  1. cynkingfeeling says:

    I had this in my Netflix queue, and my husband ended up watching it the other day. Today, we are on our third racing documentary suggested by Netflix because he watched “Senna.” I thought of you as we watched the second one, “Racing Dreams.” Have you seen it?

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