In a report from the Moscow International Film Festival the following I wrote the following about the film about legendary Ayrton Senna: (the film) has a classical straight forward narrative, simple it is, and should be, with its focus on the career of the formula 1 driver, Brasilian Ayrton Senna, his fight with French Alain Prost, a love-hate relationship, his importance for his poor nation, his charming appearence. It is all built on archive, not a talking face, all comments come off the image, an excellent solution for a film that appeals to a broad audience.
In an interview in the Guardian, Saturday July 9, done by Stuart Feffries, the information is given on a film “that quietly (has) broken box office records to become the surprise hit of the summer. Now the picture is poised for a US release that might well put it in the frame for an Oscar.”
Continued by the following: “The 39-year-old Hackney-born director’s film powered away from an unpromising position on the starting grid. It grossed £375,000 on its first weekend, three times more than Kevin Macdonald’s 2005 documentary about two British mountaineers’ near-death experience in the Andes, Touching the Void. After that impressive start, Kapadia’s film looks set to become one of the most successful documentary films ever released in the UK. “At the moment, we’re in third and chasing down second,” laughs Kapadia. His film has accelerated past Justin Bieber’s concert film, Never Say Never. It’s now grossed more than £3m and is bearing down on the 2005 nature documentary March of the Penguins. “There’s only one documentary we’ll never overtake – Fahrenheit 9/11.” Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary has, like Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Brazilian grand prix, an unassailable lead in this race.”
The interview gives an excellent background to a film that was also very well received at the festival in Moscow.