131 user 166 critic

Senna (2010)

2:29 | Trailer
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.


Asif Kapadia


Manish Pandey
Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 18 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ayrton Senna ... Self (archive footage)
Reginaldo Leme Reginaldo Leme ... Self (voice)
John Bisignano John Bisignano ... Self (voice)
Neide Senna Neide Senna ... Self (voice)
Richard Williams Richard Williams ... Self (voice)
Mili Okada Mili Okada ... Self, Fuji TV (archive footage)
Ron Dennis Ron Dennis ... Self (voice)
Viviane Senna Viviane Senna ... Self (voice)
Alain Prost ... Self (voice)
Pierre Van Vliet Pierre Van Vliet ... Self (voice)
Vera Lucia Caixeta Vera Lucia Caixeta ... Self (archive footage)
Arnaldo Jabor Arnaldo Jabor ... Self (archive footage)
Xuxa Xuxa ... Self (archive footage)
Jean-Marie Balestre Jean-Marie Balestre ... Self (archive footage)
Martin Donnelly Martin Donnelly ... Self (archive footage)


The story of the monumental life and tragic death of legendary Brazilian motor-racing Champion, Ayrton Senna. Spanning the decade from his arrival in Formula One in the mid 80's, the film follows Senna's struggles both on track against his nemesis, French World Champion Alain Prost, and off it, against the politics which infest the sport. Sublime, spiritual yet, on occasion, ruthless - Senna conquers and transcends Formula One to become a global superstar. Privately, he is humble, almost shy, and fiercely patriotic, donating millions to his native Brasil and contemplating a life beyond motor-racing. Yet he is struck down in his prime on the blackest weekend in the history of the sport, watched live on television by 300 million people. Years on he is revered in Formula One as the greatest motor racing driver of all time - and in Brasil as a Saint. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The legend of the greatest driver who ever lived. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Ayrton Senna is seen on a 1988 Christmas TV show with Xuxa Meneghel, who kisses him five times to wish him a Happy New Year, Happy 1990, Happy 1991, Happy 1992, and Happy 1993. In 1994, he was involved in a survivable collision on a not particularly difficult corner; he suffered no bruising, and not one bone was broken, but the car crashed at the exact angle for its suspension shaft to hit his helmet. Ayrton died of brain damage mere months after Xuxa's lucky kisses ran out. See more »


When the caption introduces the scene as "Monte Carlo Grand Prix, 14th of May 1988", the onboard footage from Senna's McLaren is infact from the same race two years later. (1990) This becomes apparent when Senna is seen lapping the Brabham car driven by Stefano Modena, who in 1988 drove for the Eurobrun team. Static interference appears to cut the clip short to indicate Senna's race ending crash at Portier. There is then a cut to the aftermath of the accident which is footage from the 1988 race; the camera we were watching the onboard from has now vanished, because the MP4/4 that Senna drove in 1988 didn't actually have an onboard camera, unlike the MP4/5 of 1990. Also noteworthy is that the Hugo Boss logo on the side of Senna's helmet inverts from being black text on a white background during onboard footage (1990) to white text on a black background when Senna climbs out. (1988) See more »


Viviane Senna: On that morning when he woke up, he asked God to talk to him. He opened the Bible and read a passage which said: God would give him the greatest of all gifts. Which was God himself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While the credits roll, we see home movies by the Senna family. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK blu-ray edition includes extended version at a running time of 162 minutes See more »


Referenced in Countdown: Episode #72.62 (2015) See more »


Strange Justice
From the motion picture "Perfect Stranger"
Written and performed by Antonio Pinto
Courtesy of Revolution Studios Distribution Company, LLC
Under license from Sony Pictures Music Group
See more »

User Reviews

A powerful film
19 August 2011 | by whatthefat-138-687902See all my reviews

For me, this was an extremely emotional film. At the age of 10, Senna was my idol, and I was fortunate enough to be there to see him take his final victory. Reliving those moments on the big screen was a truly exhilarating (and tear-jerking) experience.

I have consumed volumes of Senna-related material over the years, so to say that this film adds something substantive means a lot. Of course, the stories themselves won't be new to a lot of motor racing fans, but there is something delicious and comforting in the retelling of a beautiful fable. And the film makers are to be congratulated for paring a complex story down to its dramatic essentials, while maintaining the necessary context and without reducing it to a Hollywood narrative. They certainly did a much better job of conveying what Senna was to my girlfriend than I could ever do. The fact that she thoroughly enjoyed the film - and came out of it with a good understanding of many of the nuances of Senna's life - despite being ardently anti-racing speaks volumes.

If I have any criticism, it is the lack of audio/visual sync up in many of the onboard shots. And in one shot there are audible gear changes when Senna is supposedly stuck in sixth gear. For the casual viewer these count for little, but for a racing connoisseur these mistakes are like nails on a chalkboard. It's hard to believe that the film was previewed by anyone with a deep understanding of motor sport. One could also criticize the film for telling only one side of a complex history (Senna's), but given the film's scope that is no fault at all in my opinion.

All in all, this is a beautiful documentary. It is well-paced, with a perfect running time and wonderful score. I highly recommend it, to racing fans and film fans alike.

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UK | France | USA


English | Portuguese | French | Japanese

Release Date:

25 May 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Senna See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,497, 14 August 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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