Ayrton Senna

Australian film critics have responded warmly to the SENNA documentary on the morning of the award-winning film’s national release.

Two of the country’s most famous film critics, At The Movies’ longstanding duo Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, both commended the film, particularly on account of neither being self-confessed motorsport fans or knowing much about Senna’s legacy.

“Even if you are not an aficionado of motor racing this very good documentary is the story of high drama and the young star at the centre of it,” Pomeranz said in last night’s broadcast of the weekly show on Australia’s ABC network.

“This insight into the world of grand prix motor racing is fascinating – the egos, the politics, the rivalry, the sheer drama of this thrilling and yet dangerous sport,” she Pomeranz and Stratton were glowing in their praise of SENNA added. “I think this is just splendid stuff.”

And even Stratton, who traditionally dislikes sporting-genre films, was very impressed with SENNA.

“I’m not an aficionado of motor racing, not at all, and yet I found this absolutely compelling and I think that’s the mark of a good documentary,” he said. “It’s a wonderful story and it is really, really well done.”

Both critics awarded the documentary four out of a possible five stars.

The authoritative Film Ink magazine was also glowing in its praise.

“Don’t think that the film is a mournful obituary – it’s also exciting, dramatic and funny,” its review reads.

“The film justifiably idolises him, though it does casually acknowledge his occasional acts of questionable sportsmanship. F1 fan or not, SENNA is a must-see.”

“This is one of the few sports-themed profiles worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the untouchable Muhammad Ali doco When We Were Kings,” film critic Leigh Paatsch writes in Perth Now.

“Considering we all know how the documentary will end, the final act of Senna is still gripping and moving viewing,” Paatsch continues. “Plaudits must go to British director Asif Kapadia and his team for the job they have done here.”

And we certainly agree – click here to read our extensive review of SENNA.

You can also read our exclusive interview with the film’s director, Asif Kapadia, by clicking here.

[Images via Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.