This holiday season was like every other, my wife was faced with the regular challenge of picking out a gift for me. As an automotive enthusiast she always has a hell of a time getting a gift for me. This isn’t limited to my wife, but many members of my family. People will ask and I will tell them book or a documentary. What usually will happen is I will get a gift card and I get to spend hours looks through countless books to find the newest addition to the collection.
When the question came up this year from my wife I gave her a short list of some books and movies I was looking for. What she gave me was one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, “1”.
The film was directed by Paul Crowder, who work includes “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and “Once in a Lifetime.” A motorsport fan himself, Crowder was convinced to make the film by friends who used to write for the “Autosport” The three guys began the working on the film and got Chief Executive of the Formula One Group, Bernie Ecclestone, on board and the guys the doors opened.
Centered around safety, “1” is a celebration of the sport and provides insight into what the sport was and is all about. Watching the film, seeing the ups and downs, the tragedy and humor, viewers get insight into the emotions, motivations and reactions to many of the key moments in the sports history.
Often when somebody tries to tackle a very large topic like Formula 1, they fall short; “1” manages to avoid this short fall. Yes there are scenes in the film that show drivers losing their lives, but they are not shown for shock value, but were a part of the reality of the sport at the time. Having an incredible amount of access to not only archival footage, but to the people who lived through it all and those who are still living it, helped make the movie. Part of what makes the film so good is the reverence paid to the sport. It reminded me why I love motorsport, particularly Formula One so much.