FILE this one under: “Jesus, people used to be really stupid, didn’t they?”
This documentary brings to attention the small number of individuals who went about setting up the first Rapid Response unit for motor sports, first at the Indianapolis 500, then across the whole of the United States.
Simply, yet effectively presented via a smattering of talking heads and narration over archive footage, it’s a documentary split into two halves.
The first focuses on just how dangerous motorsports used to be – illustrated by footage of men being blown up, set alight or crushed to death.
The second is when people including Stephen Olvey and Terry Trammell start to persuade the promoters and team owners that all this death and paralysis isn’t a good look for them – and set about implementing common-sense procedures which save lives.
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There’s nothing about this documentary that made me more enthusiastic about the sport.
But the calm dedication with which these men went about their business in the face of an almost funny amount of smashed feet, amputated legs and dead bodies is nothing short of heroic.
Powerful stuff, but easily solved – don’t drive at 200mph in a sardine can full of petrol.
Rapid Response (12A) 99mins
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