“I’m a race car driver. What do you want me to do? When there’s a gap, I go for it.”

Ayrton Senna was a multiple world championship winnig Formula 1 driver who tragically died on the race track in 1994, a decade after his debut in the sport.

Asif Kapadia‘s Sundance Audience Award winning documentary; cut from over 15,000 hours of footage of interviews, races, home videos, press conferences, tv reports and drivers’ meetings, tells Senna’s in Formula 1. The life of a humble, fiercely patriotic and absolutely bonkers race driver unfolds on the screen in an emotional journey that many are calling one of the years finest films.

View the riveting trailer below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrbJPsPtTyU]

The film made a big splash at festivals this year and has been getting glowing reviews, with special praise going to the fact it’s genuinely interesting to those who know nothing about Senna and doubly so for those who do. Currently it stands at 92% on the Rotten Tomato-meter, making it one of 2011′s best reviewed films.

It opened in two theaters this past weekend and grossed $66,075, making it the second highest debut for a documentary and fifth highest specialty release this year. The news delighted the distributor, Producers Distribution Agency:

“Obviously, we’re thrilled with the opening. What it proves, both numerically and anecdotally, is that the film plays well beyond the core,” co-founder John Sloss told indieWire today.

Senna expands to 15 screens in the US next weekend and is truly a film to keep an eye out for. It has already been released on home video in some regions and will hopefully see a more unified release later this year. We here at Filmophilia will do our best to catch it where ever we can.

Kapadia won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film for The Warrior in 2001. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if he adds to his trophy cabinet in the coming awards season.

 

@Sveppi

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