Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: SENNA documentary

I saw a tweet about Ayrton Senna’s documentary trailer being released this week and I immediately remembered how my car-enthusiast brother used to talk about him. Senna was and still is considered the greatest motor racing driver of all time… practically a Saint in his native Brazil. His sudden tragic death came on Sunday, May 1st 1994, when his car crashed into a concrete barrier at the speed of 130 MPH. He was only 34 years old.

Here’s the documentary synopsis:

Senna’s remarkable story, charting his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection, and the mythical status he has since attained, is the subject of SENNA, a documentary feature that spans the racing legend’s years as an F1 driver, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later. Far more than a film for F1 fans, SENNA unfolds a remarkable story in a remarkable manner, eschewing many standard documentary techniques in favour of a more cinematic approach that makes full use of astounding footage, much of which is drawn from F1 archives and is previously unseen. – per

As I’m doing research for this post, I watched this actual BBC news clip from that sad day, the same weekend when another racer was also killed in the same circuit. Man, to say Formula 1 is a deadly sport is no hyperbole. But apparently it doesn’t stop Senna’s own nephew, Bruno Senna from following his footsteps… or tire tracks in this case.

A couple of reviews from Sundance premiere have trickled in. SlashFilm had this to say: ” Senna’s story has it all – an interesting origin, a rise to the top, a bitter rivalry, backstabbing, politics, triumph, defeat, life, death, heroes, villains, you name it and Senna lived it.”

TheFilmStage also praised the film, “Senna is a straightforward-yet-breathtaking ride whose tragedy ensures the safety of future racers and whose story will continue to inspire generations, especially those who have never heard of him in the first place.”

If they decide to make a biopic out of him, I think James Franco might be suitable to play him, don’t you think? Or maybe Andrew Garfield? Anyway, not sure when it’ll be released nationwide in the US after Sundance, but I’ll be sure to look for this on Netflix.

What do you think folks? Any F1 racing fan out there?

12 thoughts on “Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: SENNA documentary

    1. I don’t remember if I saw the actual accident, but man, that must’ve been a pretty big news back in the day. He’s regarded as the best even today.

  1. Jen

    I saw the film last Saturday at Sundance. I heard about Senna my whole life from my father, a Brazilian and a devoted fan, but I was too young to grasp who he was at the time. I can tell you personally that this movie will make a devoted fan out of anyone! Asif has done an incredible job with the film. It is an absolute MUST SEE. Even if you know nothing about F1 – even if you normally hate documentaries – even if nothing about this movie sounds interesting at all – you will love it. It’s impossible not to. There is just something magic about Senna.

    As to the remark at the bottom of the post – I too thought of James Franco for Senna, but I don’t think even he could do him justice. The family, as I understand it, is extremely protective of Ayrton’s name/image and though many, many have tried, they refuse to release the rights to produce a biopic. They were even cautious and wary when Asif and his people approached them with this. Don’t think we’ll be seeing one of those any time soon.

    But seriously, this is just as good. It feels like a biopic, except Senna himself is the actor.

    1. Hi Jen, welcome to FC! Thank you for your brief review on this film, really appreciate it. I’m not into documentaries but F1 fascinates me as I grew up playing with match cars 😀 From all the clips I watched about Senna, he’s really an extraordinary person, kind of larger than life, but he’s also the best at this sport.

      I totally understand that his family is protective about his image, I’d do the same if he were a relative of mine. I hope the family’s pleased with how this documentary turns out. I heard that they tried to be as truthful with it as possible.

      Thanks again for the info. I’m really looking forward to this.

  2. My liking towards Formula 1 has dwindled a bit over the last few years but Ayrton Senna was an incredible driver and I remember distinctly watching the race when he crashed and died. It was a very sad moment. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this.

    1. Yeah, just watching the clips as I wrote this post saddens me. With these motor racers, their lives are always on the line… but still, 34 is just far too young 😦

  3. Funk

    Surprising post on an F1 driver, and the greatest one at that, it’s about time someone has done a documentary or something on his life. Top Gear Series 15, episode 5, Mr. Clarkson gives a touching memorial at the end of show on Senna.

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