The man cut out from the poster portraying the champion. Its lights, its fears, its everyday life. The father of the family, the husband, the pilot who comes home and relaxes playing with his children. The child who had only one dream in life and realized it, only to discover – in spite of himself – that everything can end in an instant, sliding on the snow, beating his head on a stone covered by a white veil and staying alive in a silent limbo, as has been the case for eight years after Schumacher’s life took another direction, that 29 December 2013 in Mèribel, in the French mountains.
Intimate, deep, exciting and painful: like this Schumacher, a simple and definitive title, like an accelerated curve, which is broadcast on Netflix. It is a docufilm that adds a lot to the official historiography. Suffice it to say that it is the only work approved by the family.
Suffice it to add that – under the careful and modest direction of Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Vanessa Nöcker and Michael Wech – to speak are the wife Corinna, the children Gina and Mick, who has taken the path of his father (“I want to be like him,” he explains), his brother Ralf, also a pilot in Michael’s years. And then Bernie Ecclestone, the family friend Jean Todt, still today among the few admitted to visit Michael, Flavio Briatore, who was the first to have the intuition and led him to Benetton to win the first two World Championships (1994 and 1995 ), Sebastian Vettel, Mijka Hakkinen and many others including the men with whom he wrote the history of Ferrari, from Luca Cordero di Montezemolo to Piero Ferrari, the son of the Drake. Five consecutive titles, from 2000 to 2004.
It is a docufilm for fans and non-fans, because Michael Schumacher’s is the story of one of the few champions who not only won (a lot, in his case: 91 Grands Prix, only Lewis Hamilton did better) but who left a trace indelible in the collective imagination pushing the limits of speed beyond. It is also a compelling story – for the sporting and human path of the German driver – and not without shadows on the post-career and the dramatic accident, as when retracing the story of the stolen medical records with the suicide of the author of the theft.
The most sincere words, the most true and painful, his wife Corinna tells her – maybe she really is the real protagonist – shedding light on her husband’s semi-vegetative state. «Even today it shows me its strength every day. We are together. We live together. I miss Michael but he is here in a different way and he gives strength to all of us ». The strength, the courage, the hope. A hagiographic holy card could have come out of it, instead we are faced with a complex work, that alternating archive images with interviews, it gives us back the life of a champion in all its nuances.
That Michael Schumacher who seemed so cold as to be arrogant, so icy, so ready to do anything to cross the finish line first (the pursuit of perfection is the mantra that flows in the subtext of the docufilm), but there is also another man who – besides the armor of the warrior – guarded another life. A man who knew his family well and who now – thanks to this docufilm – also know well the fans who yesterday applauded him, esteemed him, envied him, considered him the best.