Kapadia's SENNA is a effective, emotional overview of the life, the accomplishments and the influence of Ayrton Senna in Brazilian cultural tumoil, but it is the formulaic approach of using archival footage, to not escape what is told, what was recorded, that can't discuss or complicate the image of the hero that Senna lived and died for. Effective, yes, but not that honest.
I have no interest in the pointless sport. Frankly, a brief montage of car collisions would have been sufficient to convey the drama and perils of racing. While the portrait of Senna is indeed fulsome and remarkably assembled solely from archival footage, the glamor, celebrity and stresses of race car drivers ain't news. The most dramatic scenes were off the race track, in the politically fraught FIA driver meetings.
Memories from childhood resurfaced as I watched this intense and emotional portrait of Ayrton Senna. The film triggered memories from the past, from days where I ran home after school, turned on our parabola decoder that my parents used to watch iranian tv shows, turned the tv on, and watched in this instance formula 1 on Eurosport. Brilliant, recomended watch.
"Audiences don’t need to be familiar with or give a damn about Formula One racing to get drawn into Senna." - A. Willmore, AV Club. I would have liked to know more about what led him to derive his connection with God through racing. Maybe that's an unanswerable question, but it might have been worth delving into. Then again, that would have made it a very different documentary. As is, it's finely crafted.