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Senna

2011

PG-13 CC

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Starring:
Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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When renting, you have 30 days to start watching this video, and 3 days to finish once started.

Rent Movie HD $2.99
Rent Movie SD $1.99

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Buy Movie HD $7.99
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Product Details

Genres Sports, Documentary
Director Asif Kapadia
Starring Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost
Supporting actors Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Viviane Senna, Milton da Silva, Neide Senna, Jackie Stewart, Sid Watkins, Galvão Bueno, Reginaldo Leme, Gerhard Berger, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Jean-Marie Balestre, Bussunda, Rubens Barrichello, Luiz Fernando Lima, Riccardo Patrese, Bernie Ecclestone
Studio FilmBuff
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph M. Papp on August 5, 2011
Format: DVD
To quote Top Gear, which stole a march on this kid and wrote exactly what I would've penned after a screening of 'Senna,' "The year after [the tragic death of Formula 1 superstar Ayrton Senna], Spanish actor Antonio Banderas was set to play [the Brasilian driver] in a $100m Hollywood bio-pic. Of course, it never happened, and now it never will. With the release of 'Senna,' a feature-length documentary about arguably the greatest and certainly the most charismatic racing driver of all time, the real story has been told. Definitively, thrillingly and with real emotion.

Big movies usually follow a three-act narrative arc and Senna's life lends itself naturally to that. It opens with never-before-seen footage of him karting in Brazil, and reaches a mesmerising and moving climax with the dreadful events at Imola in May 1994. In between, Senna's racing career unfolds in a way that even the most optimistic Hollywood screenwriter would scarcely have dared imagine. It's all here: the first glimmers of genius, the ascent to greatness, the period of domination, the bitter rivalries and intense politicking, disillusion and dismay, flawed heroism, the final grim chapter."

Please don't be led astray by any 1, 2, or even 3-star reviews. 'Senna' is a spectacular film and a moving and dramatic work of art that honors Senna the man and satisfies the yearnings of his fans to reconnect with a sporting god, while still respecting his memory and treating with dignity Ayrton's family and friends, colleagues and even rivals. I'm not ashamed to admit that the funeral coverage moved me to tears...

"The circumstances of Senna's demise are as chilling as ever.
Read more ›
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This is a superbly crafted documentary that manages to tell a moving and compelling story with remarkable restraint. It is a testament to the Director and Editor's skills that they are able to create a cohesive story line, convey subtle emotions and paint vivid characters and relationships while using only historical footage and with no "talking head" interviews at all.

As a professional video editor myself, I found this to be an astonishing feat the likes of which I've never really seen before. There are no overarching VO helping us to understand the political nuances or emotional tension in a scene and no cuts to interviews that interpret or reinterpret the scenes. In this regard, it is a work that never insults the intelligence and leaves an even more favorable impression because history and the facts speak quite eloquently for themselves.

Like many reviewers here, I am not a racing afficiando and frankly had only the most cursory awareness of Senna and the F1 racing world, but I am certainly a fan of high-quality filmmaking and this is one of the finest documentaries I've ever seen. I consider it a work of true genius and any student of producing or editing should carefully study and learn from this stunningly beautiful work. It is a remarkably intelligent and powerful film. Bravo.
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Format: DVD
I don't particularly like Formula One yet was gripped by this documentary which is just as much about probing the psychology of Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna as it is about his championship winning drives. The family cooperated with the film maker so we see plenty of valuable early home footage of the young go kart driver who gradually works his way up through the racing world and then starts winning races. He slowly became involved in an ever nastier rivalry with the cool professorial Alain Prost of France, who was a very different and much more reserved man. Senna looks more and more stressed as the years go by and despite three championship titles, he changes teams when it appears he has a better chance of winning elsewhere. But the rules change and the car he thought would bring more victories turns out to be highly unpredictable. He is visibly broken up when a young driver is killed during practice for the Italian grand prix in 1994 and yet decides to take part in the race proper the next day.

The end of the film is so tense you can barely look at the screen. You know Senna is about to be killed in a crash and it takes a few seconds for it to sink in that you are looking at the video from his car and seeing what he saw. Senna takes bend after bend and accelerates into the straits and you know he will be dead in just a few seconds. Suddenly the car seems to slip out of control and then there is the shuddering impact and the screen goes black. I don't think I breathed much that last minute. The documentary is also good at highlighting Senna's importance to the morale of people in Brazil, who otherwise were having a very tough time.

Highly recommended.
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By JPS on August 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film, the advertised one that states "This all-region DVD (NTSC format) will play in North America" worked no problem in my US DVD players. Would like to see in the theater if it came locally.

Previously saw a "long" version of the movie (165 minutes) and frankly the 106 minute version was better since it has no talking heads such as John Bisignano trying to act deep.
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