Documentary Review: ‘Ferrari: Race To Immortality’

Review by Bradley Smith

Here we have a little auto racing history lesson told mostly through archive footage and voiceovers. It is the 1950s and the “iconic” (I’ll have to take the description’s word on this) Scuderia Ferrari is taking on the Formula One World Championship. But speed and winning were of the utmost importance, apparently above and beyond safety as this also became the deadliest decade in motor racing history.

Enzo Ferrari created the cars for one purpose, to win. He “dared to dream about speed” in new ways and preferred racers who had nothing else going on as it made them less cautious in the race and more focused on winning. No surprise then that a number of stories depicted in this documentary lead up to the deaths of notable racers from that era.

Among the notable racers are Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. The documentary is about 99 percent archive footage and pictures, so we get to see a lot of these racers, their races, their triumphs, their rivalries, their friendships, how they lived during their downtime, and the aftermath of certain fateful events. Augmenting the footage is voiceovers from various people who lived through the era; friends, colleagues, loved ones, ex-loved ones, biographers, etc.

Overall, I found the documentary interesting and enlightening; and I am not a fan of motor racing. What impressed me most was the storytelling style. Using primarily old footage connected the stories to the actual people involved even if they are no longer around to add their voice to the story. If you are a fan of motor racing, or just like documentaries, this is one worth checking out.

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