Schumacher is a Netflix-original documentary drama following Michael Schumacher, the Formula 1 racing driver, often regarded as the best the sport has ever seen. Directed by Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Vanessa Nöcker, and Michael Wech covering Schumacher’s career and releasing on the 15th September 2021, exactly 30 years after he made his racing debut in F1.
The documentary on the whole revolves around the life of Schumacher, his entry into racing, inspiration, injuries, transfer and eventual greatness. It follows a linear structure of storytelling, beginning with his father talking about the moment Michael’s interest in racing was sparked.
It then moves into his teenage years, where he was constantly pulled back by financial struggles and the dearth of sponsorships. Here we see the beginning of his rivalry with Mika Häkkinen right from the Junior World Karting Championships. Following this, we see how he is discovered as an upcoming talent, and signed to the Jordan-Ford F1 team in the year 1991 and Benetton F1.
The movie flows through his races in his initial championship years, bringing the team up from the back to the front on the podium. His thirst to go from the worst to the best provokes him to sign with Ferrari in 1996, inspiring the team with hope of championships.
King of Formula 1
Finally, after a long wait, through shallow downs and tall peaks, the Schumacher era begins. From 2000 to 2004, Schumacher and Ferrari absolutely dominate Formula 1. With back-to-back championships and way too many wins, he cements his name as the greatest to ever do it. He becomes the trailblazer with the most championships, most wins and most podiums in a season, only equalized by Lewis Hamilton.
We see his personal life unfurling in the side, with his increased fame and parallel need of privacy. The movie shows interviews from his father, brother, wife, daughter and son. It shows Schumacher as a family man, while also a living god in racing.
His family also emotionally shade his situation as the center of attention, and how that affected his personal life. His journey through retirement and his killer perspective is highlighted in his adventurous pursuits.
Although we see how much he meant to Formula 1 and contributed to its fame, there is nothing new that the documentary talks about. For the Gen Z, we would not know about his appeal but as fans of the sport, it is common knowledge that can be found on his tribute page as well. One good thing the documentary suceeds in is how it conveys the mass appeal he carried with him, although we can never relate to the sentiment. The movie might not have any exclusive content but is definitely worth a viewing, to get interested in the sport’s rich history.
Why watch Schumacher?
The movie is a tribute to his greatness and contribution to making Formula 1 the sport that it is today. The directors take you on his journey, but only focus on the downs of his life extensively. His period of unquestionable dominance is not talked about at all, but rather skips to his retirement and return to F1 in 2010. One good thing is that we get to see the human side of Schumacher, his mentality at home and on the track. It is inspiring and one for the fanatics, but for those who are more into fictional fantasy drama, we have the Green Knight for you. Watch Schumacher streaming now on Netflix.