This is a challenging review to write because there are absolutely NO surprises. All of the publicity material tells us that Ayrton Senna was a three-time World Champion Formula One race-car driver who died at age 34 ("No fear. No limits. No equal."). What else can a documentary tell us?

Three things stood out for me:
  1. Senna was from a well-to-do Brazilian family, so his storied career was well documented, from his trophy-winning go-kart days up to and including his death. His pit crew would hand him a Brazilian flag to wave during his victory lap, thus insuring his status as a beloved hero for millions of Brazilians.
  2. The arc of the relationship between Senna and his arch rival, Frenchman Alain Prost, also a three-time World Champion. These two highly competitive drivers started as rivals but became teammates. What happened after that, was unexpected.
  3. The problem the professional drivers had with bureaucratic oversight is also well documented. Racing officials arbitrarily removed many of the safety features from those high- performance cars over the drivers' strenuous objections. It took a martyr to prove their point.
It is clear why Senna was so popular in Brazil. Not only was he a proud citizen, but he contributed millions to the poor and was a handsome, well-behaved young man. His victories were a source of great pride to his countrymen and his charities insured his reputation as a generous, almost saintly national icon.

A Formula One driver has a camera mounted over his right shoulder, so we see the real thing! Be prepared for high-speed racetrack film clips, along with horrific crashes. I came out of the screening with great respect for a (to me) formerly unknown, fine young man.

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Here's a link to a trailer:
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