Film Reviews, Short Review

Senna (2010)


Between the massive financial success (for a documentary) of Senna and the Best Documentary Oscar win for last year’s Amy, Asif Kapadia has comfortably ascended to something like documentary superstardom, if there is such a thing. He is evidently a fantastic filmmaker: Senna is structured like a heart-in-mouth thriller at times, with tension, rivalries and plot-twists littered throughout, engaging even if one knows both the story already and cares little for Formula 1 racing. For piecing together an riveting, engaging film out of only archival footage and interview voiceovers, Kapadia deserves credit. However, his skills as a documentarian leave a lot to be desired. Many questions about Ayrton Senna remain completely unanswered. For example, there’s no real mention of his home life or his position as an icon in Brazil just as the country was shifting away from a military dictatorship. Ultimately, Senna is an excellent film, but not necessarily an excellent documentary.


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