I normally don’t review documentaries that are not of a political or economic nature, but I felt I had to share my recommendation of the documentary Senna, the film was so good.
Ayrton Senna won 3 Formula One World Championships and gave Brazil a native son she could be proud of during some very tough times. Though I know nothing about Formula One racing and had very little interest in learning, I watched this documentary because it was so highly recommended, and I found that many of its themes were applicable far beyond sports.
One important reality the film documents is the power and injustice of politics over merit. Senna’s disadvantages in being an outsider in the highly political world of Europe-dominated Formula One racing is a reminder to us all of the unfairness and frustration we have faced at one or another time in our lives as an established system gives benefits to its pals or its pets at the expense of the earnest, honest newcomer.
Second, Senna makes reference in word and deed to the importance in his life of being a man he himself respects and in always striving to become a better man. Rarely do any of the so-called greats even think to put the personal journey of character development (not to be confused with religious platitudes) on a par with excelling in their sports.
And finally, the importance to Brazil of Senna’s victories is aptly described by a fan toward the end of the film who points out that in Brazil, they need food, education and healthcare, but that they also need joy and Senna brought them joy. I think it is easy to overlook the importance of joy to the human spirit. We each on our journey and in our struggles can endure much, can actually be pushed past what seemed to be our breaking points, if only we have some small joy.
This film moved and inspired me. Highly recommend.
Here’s the trailer….