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Film Review: Senna

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Senna is a fascinating documentary about arguably the greatest motor racing driver of all time. The Brazilian Formula One driver named Ayrton Senna was a risk-taker on and off the track, and strived to reach the highest level of perfection. The film explores his life and the journey he goes through to become a three-time F1 World Champion. While his achievements are celebrated, as the audience, we have to take the highs with the lows. This includes Senna’s partnership that soon turns in to a heated rivalry with French World Champion Alain Prost, the politics behind his sport that poisons his love for racing, and his tragic untimely death at the age of 34 years old.

Director Asif Kapadia does not let a narrator, drawing, pictures, or talking heads tell the story of his documentary. He uses footage and only footage to let us see for ourselves a life that some of us can only imagine, but Senna lived it. Kapadia shows us the giving, competitive, loving, and spiritual side of Senna. He believed in God and gave him credit for giving him such an extraordinary gift, which was to race like no other could. He was very proud to be from Brasil and donated millions to help his native country. And for them, Senna was not only their hero and Saint, but their hope as well.

Senna pushed himself to take harsh turns and make decisions that could have ended his career at any moment. But no matter what the situation was, he seemed to always have control of it. He was seen as ruthless and extreme, and maybe he was a little bit of both. But he lived for racing and now has become a legend whose life ended way too early.

Whether you love or hate any form of racing, Senna will entertain no matter what. This documentary is exciting and offers some real thrills on the race track, and leaves you inspired yet heart-broken by the end. It is simply an engaging story that shines light on an individual who will go down in history, but perhaps have never heard his name until now. And no matter how tragic his death is, he died doing what he truly loved and enjoyed. After seeing this film, we have to believe Senna would not have had it any other way.



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