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Documentary 'Senna' should not be missed

August 11, 2011 | 10:52 am

More than 17 years ago, the racing world lost a legend when three-time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna died in a crash during the opening laps of the San Marino Grand Prix.

Starting Friday, the highly acclaimed documentary "Senna" will open in select theaters nationwide, giving audiences an intimate look at one of the greatest racing drivers of all time.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Senna thrilled race fans across the world with his daring exploits on the track. The Brazilian won 41 races and captured a then-record 65 pole positions. His battles with McLaren teammate Alain Prost were legendary.

Then, just as his career appeared to be heading into a new chapter with his move to Williams, the 34-year-old's life came to a tragic end when he crashed out of lead of the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994 (a race weekend also marred by the fatal crash of Roland Ratzenberger and Rubens Barrichello's horrific crash).

The documentary, which won the Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award earlier this year, was praised by Times film critic Kenneth Turan in his review, who wrote, "Sometimes a documentary will unexpectedly reach out and grab you by the throat, not giving you a second to breathe... Such is the power of this man, and this film."

The film will be playing at the Landmark in Los Angeles, where director Asif Kapadia is scheduled to take part in a series of Q&A sessions after screenings on Friday and Saturday.

Check out the film's Facebook page for more screening locations.

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-- Austin Knoblauch

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