Film Review by Philip Concannon | 30 May 2011
Film title: Senna
Director: Asif Kapadia
Starring: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost (archive footage)
Release date: 3 Jun
Certificate: 12A

In The Warrior and Far North, Asif Kapadia displayed his strength as a visual storyteller, and those same instincts are at work in Senna, the director's first documentary feature. Taking advantage of an enormous wealth of archive footage (some of which, provided by Bernie Ecclestone, has never been seen before), Kapadia has assembled a vivid and moving portrait of Ayrton Senna, the brilliant Formula 1 racing driver who lost his life at Imola seventeen years ago. The film is an absorbing character study, with Senna the charismatic central figure in a great drama full of triumph, tragedy, political machinations and bitter rivalry (with teammate and competitor Alain Prost). Fittingly, it maintains a propulsive momentum from the start, and the decision to avoid any interview segments, which would have disrupted its gripping flow, is one of the director's smartest moves. In fact, Kapadia's judgement is beyond reproach throughout Senna, and particular praise must be reserved for the exemplary manner in which he handles the film's devastating denouement.