THE movie Senna, now showing in Alice, is as brilliant as the three-time world champion Formula One driver it portrays.

From 1984 to 1994 Brazilian Ayrton Senna set the racing scene alight and captured the hearts of many outside the F1 world racing. His life during this period has been made into a compelling documentary, that even if you had no interest in F1 or Senna, you will be enthralled to the end.

Senna’s story is told through archival footage and the voices of many involved in the F1 scene at the time, including co-drivers, team management, journalists and Senna’s family.
It has been put together by director Asif Kapadia with the skill and precision Senna showed when racing around a wet grand prix track.

The first time Senna made it on to the podium he had come from 16th position, racing without fear through the field. He just missed out on first place after leader Alain Prost waved the race to a halt in heavy rain moments before Senna overtook him.
The ability to drive with aggression in the wet saw him take his first F1 pole position and win in the Portuguese Grand Prix in 1985. In horrendous conditions he lapped every driver bar one on his way to victory.

Senna as a film engages you so much that you will be reaching for the seatbelt when you see the view from the cockpit. On the big screen this footage lets you experience some of the feeling that attracts these drivers to race in Formula One. Racing down the straights, streaking through corners and high speed crashes deliver real life action that big Hollywood blockbusters can only dream of.

What’s revealed in the film is what drives a man who experiences the feeling of God when he is pushing the limits of himself and his car. His great rivalry with France’s four-time champion Prost helped boost the popularity of F1.

The film gives an insight into the what happens behind the scenes in F1 racing and has footage not seen before in public. During his time in F1, Senna’s home country Brazil was going through a very difficult period. The importance of Senna giving the Brazilian people moments of joy is shown in the footage from his homeland, especially after he finally won in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Senna gave more than joy. He created the framework for an organisation dedicated to Brazilian children, which later became Instituto Ayrton Senna, which the filmmakers worked closely with to produce this winning documentary film. I took my sport-hater-pushbike-rider wife to the the movie and she ended up really enjoying. C’mon fellas, sounds like time for a date to me.

* Senna is on now at the Alice Springs Cinemas

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