Kapadia raised the bar for all docu-biopics, not just sporting ones, with his recounting of the life of Ayrton Senna. By only using archive footage and adding no captions or talking heads, he wired audiences directly into the racing driver’s private and public moments, rather than keeping them one step removed as onlookers. It helped that Senna’s life was special and tragic, but with no pauses for analysis or after-the-fact context, the film is totally enthralling from the first moment to last. Kapadia went on to make
Amy, about singer Amy Winehouse, in 2015 and is currently in production on a life of Diego Maradona, with full support and access to the man himself and his home movies. An exciting prospect, but it will have to go some way to match the searing brilliance of Senna.