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Sports film of the week: Senna

This week, we recall Asif Kapadia’s superb documentary on the legendary Brazilian Formula One driver.

Senna was considered a hero in his native Brazil.
Senna was considered a hero in his native Brazil.


Released: 2010

Director: Asif Kapadia

A documentary depicting the life and death of the Brazilian Formula One Driver Ayrton Senna, it highlights the incredible love and respect for the driver in his homeland at the peak of his fame – feelings that were accentuated following his untimely death as a result of an tragic accident he suffered while racing.

Told through a series of home videos featuring the driver, in addition to interviews with those who knew him, Senna is an insightful portrait of a complex and hugely talented man.

The film begins with his first season in Formula One in 1984, taking the viewer all the way up to the sad scenes at his high-profile funeral in 1994, while the Brazilian government declared three days of national mourning, which illustrates the impact that this extraordinary individual had on the national consciousness during his short time alive.

What the critics said: “It’s stripped of narration, talking heads, and anything else that might threaten to slow it down.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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