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Senna More at IMDbPro »

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163 out of 183 people found the following review useful:

Perfect narrative, thrilling documentary, wonderful music, pure emotion!

Author: tomasdelara from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
28 November 2010

This documentary is flawless, it's narrative perfect, it's thrilling, I could not imagine another way of depicting this awesome history. The soundtrack is great, the documentary flows in such a wonderful way, real drama, marvelous histories, some funny parts as well, it's life in it's beauty and it's true form.

We get to know so many things about the formula 1 politics and internal struggles at that period.

Memorable sentences from the documentary:

Senna: -¨Formula 1 is too much money, too much politics¨

Jean-Marie Balestre (FIA ex-President): -¨The best decision is my decision¨

It's so exciting to see the rivalry between Alain Prost and Senna, possibly one of the greatest duels on the history of sports. There are few movies/documentaries that I would give a ¨11¨ out of 10 and this is one, together with amazing documentary Bus 174, from José Padilha (the director of Elite Squad).

A documentary is good when is true to reality, and is awesome when is great to watch as ¨Senna¨ is, a perfect tribute to such a hero. The history of Senna is so inspiring, he is a true champion by all means, as a professional, and as a human being, that's way this is for sure a "must see movie".

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105 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

Simply fantastic

Author: David George from Leicester, England
4 June 2011

I have just returned home from watching "Senna" and am struggling to recall a time I have ever been moved by a piece of film so much.

What has been created is much more than just a documentary, it charts Ayrton's F1 career and gives the viewer an insight into the man, not just the public face we saw and loved so dearly on the TV.

As a F1 fan I could be biased, but I believe this film will appeal to any film lover, it creates a sense of connection and understanding of the man, and unashamedly tears at your heart when the inevitable scene is played out, even though I knew it was coming I was fighting tears in the cinema, it brought back memories from all those years ago.

It is some feat though for a film to leave you with such an overwhelming sense of optimism despite the tragedy, but nevertheless Asif has done this in my opinion, as Ayrton's humanity and personality are explored, as is the influence that this one man had on his homeland.

I can't recommend this enough for motorsport fans, and anyone who loves film.

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88 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

A truly great documentary, regardless of your interest in racing

Author: mike-mckinnon from Austin, TX
17 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So first things first - the obligatory "you don't have to be a fan of Senna or even a fan of Formula 1 or even a fan of racing or even a fan of sports at all to enjoy this film" disclaimer. Maybe in the past you've been coerced by this sort of lead-on by a friend or significant other, only to suffer and moan. I asked my wife while leaving the Paramount Theater if she enjoyed the movie. My wonderful, accommodating, supportive wife, who has absolutely no interest in racing whatsoever (strike whatsoever - I think she might have an unhealthy and/or impure appreciation of Mark Webber and Jenson Button), responded, "How could you not?" From across the theater, my friend Eric, whose interest in sports essentially begins and ends with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, hallowed be thy name, flashed two thumbs up, then pantomimed tears falling. Then two more thumbs up, so as not to end his review on an unmanly note.

Ultimately my appreciation of Senna derives from the perspective of how it immortalizes Ayrton Senna, a god among men, as a human being. If you're disinclined to be all gung-ho about a documentary, I have some encouragement. Kapadia forgoes the typical talking head, television style interview with someone who knew Senna recounting their experiences and memories. Instead he lets the characters, primarily nemesis Alain Prost, McLaren team boss Ron Dennis and of course, Senna himself, tell the story, more or less chronologically, and in the moment. With hundreds of hours of footage available, from interview to candid behind the scenes to in-car, supplemented by more recent interviews specifically for the film, the narrative of Senna's rise to the pinnacle of the racing world is already extensively documented and well known, at least in a mythological sense. The drive and focus of that narrative then is a masterstroke of tireless research and judicious editing. Senna is undeniably a good film, full stop.

Senna, as the protagonist in the drama, develops as thoroughly as a character in any of the best films you could name. One of the most controversial moments of his career, the infamous shunt with Alain Prost (our lead antagonist) at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, is suddenly re-contextualized from its usual portrayal, with the background to color the incident (accurately, you could argue) as a righteous middle finger to the sport's governing body, and particularly its then demagogue of a master, Jean-Marie Balestre. In many circles, purists will cluck and bemoan the unsporting intent of Senna's defiance by charging for a gap and holding a line that would likely, and in fact did, retire both drivers from the race. The crash brought cheers from the audience in the theater. Senna went on to clinch the championship. Unsportsmanlike or the very illustration of competitive purity? There's room to argue but the context underlying the whole ordeal is undeniable.

My favorite sequence, and the one that honestly caused something to get in my eye, was the 1991 Brazil Grand Prix. Piloting a broken car, but having never won in his home country, Senna drove an impossible drive to cling to his victory. If the story ended here, it would be Roy Hobbs slamming the ball into the lights. Senna winning in Brazil exemplifies my theory that athletic competition can be art, or at least artistic. Senna's drive was a pure expression of the human spirit, and it is beautiful to behold. Seriously, truthfully beautiful. If you could package this segment of the film, a model of Michelangelo's David and maybe a recording of Mingus Ah Um, and send it all into space for aliens to understand what humanity is and is capable of, you wouldn't be doing the universe a disservice. Watching the footage of him on the winners' podium in sheer agony, try and fail, then try again to hoist his trophy over his head, and knowing that he wasn't doing so out of a need to satisfy his ego, but to salute his country and its citizens - it's moving.

But this is all a bit like the Titanic, isn't it? Most racing fans know what happened to Ayrton Senna on May 1, 1994. We know every race, every victory, brings us closer to The Monster at the End of This Book. Few serious accidents are shown in the film. Only the outcome of Martin Donnelly's career ending but amazingly not fatal 1990 crash is shown, his broken body lying motionless on the circuit. It's a nauseatingly frank shot. Rubens Barrichello's airborne shunt during practice at Imola in '94 that ranks in the majority of morbid but somehow requite top 10 crashes of all time lists. Roland Ratzenberger's fatal crash at qualifying for the same race. And finally Senna. It's jarring, even when you know it's coming.

Throughout the film are shots of Niki Lauda. Although he's never named either in narration or by subtitle, the burn scarred face of the three-time world champion, and still competitive driver at the time, is a frequent, looming reminder of the supposedly bygone age when the life expectancy of F1 drivers was not the job's mot vital selling point. But in the "modern" era, no one expected the greatest driver possibly in the history of the sport could be snuffed with so little effort on the part of the universe. It was tragic and will always be tragic, like the last man to die in the battle before a truce is called, but that doesn't make it senseless. If the Spirit of Racing Future floated down to Senna and handed him a signed declaration of his impending death, he'd likely have strapped into his wobbly Williams and tempted the Almighty's resolve. Because that loving, thankful, but nonetheless defiant middle finger to the institution he loved so much, whether we're talking racing or God, defined him as a human.

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86 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Senna a must-seen

Author: Stella from Spain
19 April 2011

I didn't know much about Senna, before watching this documentary. Just obvious things: great rider who died young in a F1 accident. Topics, nothing more. When I started to watch "Senna", I was surprised by the eyes of a rider who seemed nearly shy in the interviews, but fiercely strong and daring on the truck. His face was a canvas where his soul sketched the mixed feelings that were born as he and life slowly sprang up. You see Senna as a true consistent human being, who debated between what he loved - racing, his country- and what was surrounding him and , sadly, growing up -Brasil's poverty, politics infesting F1, too much engineering against pilot's talent.. This is a must-seen documentary. A must-seen film indeed. Traces of archive footage that let you be a little closer of a great man who loved and lived for a passion, who had errors and fought against them, and who taught us a great lesson of attitude and coherence. Requiescat In Pace

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67 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

truly mind blowing movie

Author: mrssll1 from United Kingdom
9 June 2011

Throughout the movie, you start to see how Senna is much more than a racing driver. senna's passion for his country and his fans are second to none. The movies well balanced makes. for a truly entertaining movie. The sadness surrounding senna's is subtle and delicatly done. Nobody comes out bad in this movie.

The director has not used any cgi or any reconstructions. The material is completely archived and well put together. The movie won an award last year for documentary of the year, which is truly deserved.

On the big screen the onboard cameras add tension and gives a true sensation of speed.

I love this film as it suits all f1 and none f1 fans. Senna was loved and ,admired all over the world. This is evident as the movie progresses.

Truly magnificent film and well worth seeing.

All thats for me to say is go see it.... ENJOY!!!

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61 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Shocking, funny, Wonderful and beautiful.

Author: Bistoman from Ireland
14 June 2011

First off, I have to say I'm an F1 fan, so take whatever You want from that. Senna has to be the best documentary ever made, It simply tells the story of the great man trough, Mostly. old TV footage. This brings back memory s of late night highlight shows of a race that happened hours before. Its Shocking to see the total unfairness of the sport at that time, Its trilling to see the racing. Its so sad to see senna's Last lap at Imola. Overall It's a peek into the life of one of the worlds greatest sportsmen, a wort's and all account of a good, but sometimes, flawed man. If for no other reason than seeing how well the old footage is spliced back together, Go and see Senna, You will not be disappointed.

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53 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

All he ever wanted to do was race...

Author: the_rattlesnake25 from Sheffield, UK
4 June 2011

Seventeen years after the passing of one of the greatest Formula 1 racing drivers of all time a documentary has been released that examines his ten-year career in the sport. Directed by Asif Kapadia ('Far North,' 'The Warrior') and produced by Universal and Working Title, 'Senna' shows the audience the untapped potential and brilliance of the Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, while also examining the rise of this shy, young Brazillian boy; from go-karting circuits to a televisual audience of millions. 'Senna' is as moving and touching, as it is interesting and captivating.

Born Ayrton Senna da Silva to wealthy middle-class parents in the Santana district of Sao Paulo, he always had a dream of becoming a racing driver and began by driving in the Karting World Championships until he was approached to join Formula 3 for the 1983 season and then Formula 1 for the following season. From his first controversial podium finish in the Monaco in Grand Prix in 1984, two things were born; an intense rivalry with the future French Formula 1 champion (and soon to be team-mate) Alain Prost and a desire to race, dominate and win which would see Senna not only claim three World Championships, but also lose his own life on the track.

Where Kapadia's 'Senna' documentary works is in its ability to appeal to wide array of audience members. For the fans of the Formula 1 racing there is a copious amount of footage documenting select races and the events taking place around his career. Rather than use cutaway segments to show various celebrities and sports men and women discuss their memories and recollections of Senna, Kapadia instead utilises a voice-over to accompany the archive images on-screen. By allowing the voice-over of the various people associated with Senna (most notable this consists of McLaren's team principal Ron Dennis, his mother, father and sister, F1 team Doctor Sid Watkins, and Brazilian commentator Reginaldo Leme) to supplement the footage, it both preserves he power of the on-screen image and provides the audience with additional information regarding the situation or event that is being presented.

While for the casual viewer who may only know of Ayrton Senna in passing, there is the psychological unravelling of a man trapped in a boy's body. Senna is shown not to be ignorant of the politics of Formula 1, but simply uninterested, he was always that middle-class boy from Brazil who only wanted to race, win and repeat. There is also an interesting inclusion of footage of Senna as a modern hero of the Brazilian people, he's shown as the racing driver who transcended the social and political problems of a nation on the edge of poverty and economic instability and provided them with ray of light and joy that was unfortunately extinguished on the 1st of May 1994. 'Senna' is a brilliant and moving examination of a rising sporting star caught up in the whirlwind of politics, rivalries and stardom, when all he wanted to do was race and win by any means necessary, not for the adulation of millions, but his love for sport so close to his heart.

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45 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Truly Remarkable

Author: Traditionalmoviebuff from United Kingdom
26 June 2011

I had been a Fan of Ayrton when I was a child. I distinctly remember watching the F1 highlights with my dad. My dad was a seasonal fanatic of sports and kept updating me with the news from the papers/sports magazines and the television.

To relive the moments of Ayrton (the idol) in this emotionally gripping documentary was unbelievably comforting. The script and flow of the events were so flawlessly presented taking one's memory into the Time travel of decade gone by. It was nothing short of Excellence in execution.

The documentary dissects Ayton's persona in a subtle way, making it the most compelling Biography of all times. The back-ground score by Antonio Pinto was Enthralling and Sensual delight.

This is not to be missed, sad that I had been to the cinema only on the final day when it was shown-much regret the delay. Nevertheless, Its a true Masterpiece which portrays the subtle sadness of a legend's demise in a sweet throat stifling moments.

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48 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

An Exotic Tale of a Truly Unfathomable Legend

Author: steve-61-293483 from Ottawa Ontario Canada
22 May 2011

People could be forgiven for not remembering Ayrton Senna De'Silva. Almost 20 years after his death, the true intricacies that embroiled his career and personal life have yet to be unraveled, however this movie does a hell of a job connecting the two in perfect harmony. A bitter sweet taste is left in the mouth of the viewer as they watch a film with subtle undertones of competitiveness and strong hues of emotion. A soulful film, you really find yourself unraveling the charisma and Jues De Vivre that is Senna.

From the offset of the movie you find yourself in a somewhat cheerful, unknowing state, as it lightly unravels his early career in Formula 1, whilst hinting at the precursors that led him there. The hard, pressing, and very tight competition of him against Proust is another aspect that the viewer will find to be nail biting, as you truly begin to see the emotional aspect of Senna open at this point. Thus, the ending could come to a heartbreak to someone who had never heard of Senna. But alas, the legacy that lasts, transcends all documentaries, and all books. For the truly afflicted car/racing fan such as myself, you feel torn, and yet very motivated to be the best you can be.

To the regular viewer, you feel emotionally attached to a man who affected the lives of millions positively in his home country of Brazil. A perfect mix of a movie, in which you can watch as either an auto-racing fan, or someone who has never heard of Senna; It delivers on a highly emotional level, surrounding you in the warmth that he brought to many.

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39 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Truly excellent...

Author: ajs-10 from United Kingdom
10 July 2011

My local cinema is only small, it only has two screens and consequently, to make money, they have to show a lot of mainstream films. Most of these don't interest me too much and I sometimes despair that they will ever show anything like this. So you can imagine my surprise when the weekly email I receive from them listing the upcoming films included this little gem. I've had it on 'The List' (that's my 'To See' list for those that don't know) for some time and always thought I'd end up seeing it on TV. But no, the Picture House are showing it! Admittedly it's only for two screenings, but they're actually showing a film I never thought I'd see on the big screen.

Two of us went to the first screening; myself, a Formula One fan for many years and my buddy Dave, who isn't into Formula One but is a bit of a connoisseur of film. He had heard about this one and was interested to give it the once over. The film tells the story of the Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna from his early days in carting through his rise to fame and fortune in Formula One to his untimely death in an accident in 1994. We are told about the feud he had with fellow driver, Alain Prost, and the battles they had both on and off the track. How he dealt with the politics of the sport and how he became a huge star, giving hope to millions, back home in Brasil. And also the thoughts of those involved in his life and career.

I love the way this film was put together, there is no commentary and no interviews with people made after the fact. It's all archive footage and interviews, mostly with Senna himself, that tells the story. As has been said many time before, real life can be so much better than fiction and this story has so much drama and emotion in it I firmly believe, in this case at least, it's true. The section of the film concerning his death I remember watching events unfold live on TV very well. It was the blackest day on Formula One history and I don't think I'll ever forget it. In the film it is very emotional and even Dave admitted to shedding a manly tear at one point.

To many, Ayrton Senna was the greatest driver ever to race in Formula One. I'll admit that I wasn't his greatest fan when he raced; I wanted the British drivers to win (of course). I always admired his talent though, and now I know more about him I am inclined to think that, yes, he was one of the greatest. This is a truly remarkable film and one I can highly recommend to fans of the sport and those that don't follow it. It's a remarkable story and one I'm sure you will find yourself thinking about for a long time afterwards.

My Score: 9.2/10

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