Review of '1'

1.jpg “1” is a documentary exploring the days of Formula 1 car racing in the 1960s when the cars were getting more and more powerful but the safety was lagging behind resulting in more and more deadly accidents. Many are aware of the death of Aryton Senna but not many are aware of the many others that also tragically lost their lives at this time. This film shows these horrific accidents and explains the circumstances and repercussions that followed. Featuring interviews with key people in industry such as Niki Lauda (whose face still bears the scars of his brush with death as a driver), Lewis Hamilton (current Formula 1 champion), Michael Schumacher (7 time Formula 1 champion speaking before his recent skiing accident), and Martin Brundle (former Formula 1 driver who narrowly escaped death himself but now commentator) this film seeks to explain the events and politics involved in bringing Formula 1 to it's current state of extreme safety – Indeed, before the recent death of Jules Bianchi the last death in Formula 1 was of Aryton Senna in 1994. I found this documentary very interesting but often confusing in it's pacing and focus - There is no clear message here of what is trying to be said (other than the obvious “lessons were learned and things are much safer now”). Several times we are told that events caused a “turning point” only to learn that nothing really changed until the next “turning point” event.

The voice over by Michael Fassbender is well measured and adds a degree of sobriety to the often horrific stories that unfold on the screen. It is amazing to see the footage that has been included here (much of which even as a fan of Formula 1 I have never seen before, even different angles give it a completely different…er…perspective) and the line-up of interviewees is truly incredible: A veritable who's-who in the industry.

A must for any fan of Formula 1 or, really, anyone interested to see how money and greed can often come before safety. It is only when individuals stand up and refuse to take part that change happens…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2015-07-30

Directed by: Crowder Paul

Studio: Diamond Docs

Year: 2013

Length: 112 minutes

Genre: Documentary