Ferrari: Race to Immortality: The 1950s and "gladiator" drivers
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The documentary from the British Daryl Goodrich on the legendary Scuderia Ferrari, and the deadliest decade in the history of Formula One, has premiered in Europe at the 12th Rome Film Fest
"You have to work continuously to avoid thinking about death" – Enzo Ferrari. Death is always around the corner, at every turn, in the fascinating documentary dedicated to the iconic Formula One car manufacturer. Ferrari: Race to Immortality [+see also:
film profile], directed by the British Daryl Goodrich, and due to premiere in Europe at the 12th Rome Film Festival, is in official selection. The director focuses on the most fatal decade in the history of racing cars (39 dead drivers on the track) – the ten years from 1950 to 1960 which saw the unstoppable ascent of Scuderia Ferrari. A team led by the Modena entrepreneur with maniacal passion and almost dictatorial punch, who had just one goal: to win, at all costs (9 world championship drivers and 8 world championships builders during his life). "The more uncomfortable you make them, the better they run" is one of the many aphorisms from Enzo Ferrari (referring to his riders here) that punctuate the documentary, composed entirely of repertoire films that catapult the spectator onto the crazy formula One Track, very dangerous for those who dared drive it, but also for those who assisted from the bleachers, so much for what we see today, with all the technology and security measures - almost a walk in the park.
This overwhelming and adrenaline-fuelled documentary is above all dedicated to the men who talk about the drivers who made history for all those years: Luigi Musso, Eugenio Castellotti, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alfonso de Portago, and in particular the English Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. Young, refined and fearful. Lovers of la bella vita during the week, and then the racing seat at the weekend, like modern gladiators, ready to challenge death, which was just the slightest mistake away, be it their own or someone else's, from one small fault to oil on the tarmac. "I love human stories, and the chance to study these brave men, their drama, their friendships and their love is what attracted me," explained the filmmaker in Rome. Significant space is given to the wives and girlfriends of the time, who accepted the risk, and who trembled in the boxes, stopwatch in hand, when they saw that their man's car was late to arrive. We hear the voices of these women, we listen to their stories, and only at the end do we see what their faces in the present day. A great device with which the director immerses the spectator in a legendary decade, for almost an hour and a half, from triumphs to tragedies, engine ripples, champagne rivers and flaming cars, and only in the last few moments does he bring us back to present day. And the dream becomes reality once more.
Ferrari: Race to Immortality was produced by Artemis Film, Dignity Film Finance and Dimson Films, in association with Head Gear Films and Metrol Technology. Release is scheduled for 3 November in the UK, and 5 December in France. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is set to release the film on DVD and Blu-ray from 6 December in Italy, with the title Ferrari: un mito immortale.
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