Sunday, July 15, 2018

2017 Ferrari motorsports documentary set for wide video on-demand release July 24

In case you missed the documentary Ferrari: Race to Immortality when it launched with mixed reviews to DVD last fall, you will soon have another viewing option. According to an announcement from Freestyle Digital Media, the film will launch widely to video on demand platforms on Tuesday, July 24.

Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster will publish additional details about viewing options as we receive them. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the trailer above.

The film chronicles the motorsports ambitions of automotive and motorsports patriarch Enzo Ferrari as he urged his racing team to continue pushing the envelope toward new levels of triumph on the track, in the context of what became known as “the deadliest decade in motor racing history”: the 1950s.

It was an era described as “la dolce vita during the week and a coin toss of whether they lived or died on the weekend.” During an 18-month period within that deadly decade, four members of Ferrari’s racing team lost their lives on the track.

The film has been praised for the rigorous research effort of director Daryl Goodrich who, according to CNN, spent 18 months scouring through archival race footage to gather content for the 91-minute documentary.

Among the points detractors have focused are what has been described as only a minimal probing of the character depths of Enzo Ferrari himself, as well as what some see as an over-emphasis on the carnage. For example, one user reviewer on IMDb suggests that the film would be more accurately subtitled as “Watch People Die While Others Talk.”

All that said, perhaps that’s one compelling reason why this film may be an important one to watch for those seeking to acquire a balanced perspective on the history of motorsport.

Are the deaths, as some argue, the tragic casualties resulting from one man’s over-revved ambitions to push his machines to new levels of speed, with a reckless disregard for human safety? Or, in the context of their time, are the losses, though still tragic, more the inevitable, often-seen consequences of humanity’s efforts to test the limits of technology—and to learn to manage the power of the machines we build?

As some put it, like test pilots and astronauts, motorsports pioneers knew the risks that they were signing up for.

It’s a complex debate that probably can’t be resolved categorically. But it’s also a near certainty that the losses of a deadly decade were also learning experiences that have in some way been incorporated into safety advances for both the track and the street.

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