A Bittersweet Homage To The Glory and Loss In Motor Racing
Gripping and shocking in equal measure, Ferrari: Race To Immortality is a very well made motor racing documentary. Set in the 1950s and predominantly following five iconic racers of the era, this documentary pays homage to the lives of the racers that raced under founder Enzo Ferrari and reflects on an era full of sacrifice and forgotten heroes. With a stylish visual design and chock full of actual footage from the time period, Ferrari is a documentary that can be enjoyed whether you enjoy motor racing or not.
Beginning with founder Enzo Ferrari and the original concept of Ferrari motor cars itself, Race To Immortality examines some of the best drivers of the era from 1955 leading up to 1958. During this iconic time period in the history of motor racing, the races, the drivers and societal values of the time are meticulously examined through the narration of biographers, family members of the racers and other drivers themselves. Unlike other documentaries that cut away during these narrated segments, Race To Immortality cleverly keeps the attention focused on the film reels from the 50s as it cuts between the drivers and what’s being discussed. It certainly helps keep the focus solely on the film and avoids a temporary lapse in the general pacing as well.
There’s some nice editing at play here too, with some of the tense racing segments greeted by tension-inducing orchestral music and rapid, quick cuts between the drivers, cars and the racing course. This clever use of quickening the pace during the big races and slowing to a suffocating, devastating crawl during the crashes gives Race To Immortality a much needed polish in an otherwise standard documentary film. Despite the name of the film, beyond a few choice quotes and a handful of audio snippets, Enzo Ferrari himself takes a bit of a backseat as the film explores the drivers. Although this never detracts from the engrossing nature of the film, its still worth pointing out for those intent on going in expecting a documentary that meticulously explores Ferrari’s life outside the circle of the race track.
Whether you’re a fan of motor racing or not, there’s no denying that Ferrari: Race To Immortality is an informative, respectful documentary that’s sole purpose is to pay homage to the lives lost to the dangerous sport. Some clever editing and an artistic flair in the presentation help Ferrari stand out and this absorbing documentary does a great job of keeping your attention throughout. Those expecting a thorough examination of Enzo Ferrari or want more elaboration on the background behind the inception of motor racing won’t find it here. Although it could probably do with a little more information on Enzo Ferrari himself, Race To Immortality is still a gripping documentary that pays its respect to the men who gave their all to such a dangerous sport.
Verdict - 8/10