Senna  (2010)    81/100

Rating :   81/100                       Treasure Chest                     106 Min        12A

An absolutely seminal moment in documentary filmmaking and indeed easily one of the best films of 2010. This masterful film follows the rise to fame of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, focusing on his time with the sport and, unusually, it only uses footage from the time rather than filming interviews now and cutting back and forth, feeling much more like an unfolding drama than a conventional documentary. Personally, I’m not in the least bit interested in F1, so the fact I loved this already speaks volumes. The story it tells has all of the best ingredients that true legends are made from, with high drama that you couldn’t artificially create and a very, very human element at its heart.

In essence the film asks two questions, what to do when you find yourself in a corrupt environment (as Senna does with the FI setup), whether that be a social group or a place of work, and what does it take to be happy, something which is hammered home by Senna telling us he enjoyed himself the most when he was racing for pleasure, with no money or politics attached to it, and we see him constantly chasing the next title never really seeming completely fulfilled – something which is common in many walks of life, certainly to the average person winning even one world title is enough to be pretty satisfied with and yet the reality for the individual can be quite different. Similarly, we watch him fight against the system, but it invites discussion about how to do that effectively without perhaps it getting to you more than you it – is it better simply to leave and walk away?

Not knowing the details of the story makes this all the more compelling so I won’t say anything more, other than give it a go and let its significance play out for yourself …

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