I came to this film with high expectations. I knew it was a documentary that was put together from a wide range of footage of Ayrton Senna, the Formula One champion who died in a fatal accident in 1994. Several reviews had mentioned that it doesn’t matter if you like racing or not, it’s an interesting look at the personalities and politics involved in professional sport. As someone who is not into following sport at all, it wasn’t interesting to me – or at least, most aspects were not.
I found the competitive rivalry between Senna and Alain Prost mildly interesting; although both of them seemed to be spoilt brats in the way they dealt with some of the situations they came up against. The politics of the sport were totally boring to me. In fact, the only time the film really grabbed me was when it was looking at Senna’s relationship with Brazil. At the time, Brazil was in a major financial decline, the majority of the population was poor and oppressed and they needed a hero who was proud of his heritage. Senna was this hero to the people. I would have also liked a bit more about his personal life, but that was clearly not the intention of the film maker.
As a sports documentary, it’s probably quite good for those who like that genre, but not for me.
Senna won BAFTAs for Best Documentary Film and Best Editing and was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding British Film.