Last week, when I was guest host of The Leonard Lopate Show, I had the chance to speak with film director Asif Kapadia about his new movie, Senna. I am definitely not the traditional target audience for this film about a Brazilian Formula One racecar driver. But I loved it, even though watching Senna and his fellow drivers careen around the track at speeds upwards of 160 miles per hour, in open cars with no windshields, no protection at all, is terrifying. Some of the footage is from a camera mounted just above Senna's right shoulder, offering his view as he tears through a race, and it makes your heart jump into your throat.
What captivated me was the spirit and joy of Ayrton Senna, who won three Formula One Championships in his much too short career. In the film, we meet him as a beautiful, gawky 17 year old competing in go-cart races, and follow him as he achieves an exhilarating come-from-behind victory through the rainy streets of Monaco, struggles in the political mine-fields of professional racing, and talks with passion about the sport he loves.
Senna opens this weekend in New York and LA. Here is my interview with Asif Kapadia, who is as passionate about his subject as Ayrton Senna was about racing: