The Formula One (F1) that we watch and enjoy so much today has a much darker past. To many hardcore fans, the 1970s is considered to be the greatest era of the sport. But it was also one of the deadliest. In a time where F1 cars were regarded as “coffins on wheels”, the period saw 18 drivers lose their lives while racing. To put that into perspective, only two drivers have died from Formula One in the last 15 years.
While undeniably a treacherous period, the glam and glitter of the sport meant that many couldn’t bear to stop. One such man was Ronnie Peterson, the ‘SuperSwede’, who was regarded as the fastest driver in the golden era. Yet despite being viewed so highly by his peers and fans of the sport, Ronnie Peterson was unable to clinch the top spot in the years he raced.
While many of the sport’s greatest drivers have pointed to Peterson’s lack of tenacity and mettle to be a champion. Others pointed to the failures of his engineer, Formula One great Colin Chapman, the unreliability of the Lotus cars he drove and even a conspiracy between Lotus and the other driver in his team.
Apart from Peterson’s racing life, his personal life was unique too. Many male celebrities, regardless the era, are seen as philanderers. But not Peterson. His personality and morals forbade it. Unlike many of his peers and many men, he stayed devoted to his wife from start to his abrupt death in 1978 on the famous Monza circuit.
Ronnie Peterson was truly an outstanding man, both on the tracks and off it. His humility shines throughout. And all his peers and past competitors could see it, as documented in the film Superswede.
The film features many of the sport’s greatest drivers like Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti. And all these legendary names agree on one thing, Ronnie Peterson was one of a kind. An amazing driver that lost his life doing something he loved so dearly.
Superswede explores the life of Peterson from childhood till his death. The film gives an inside look at the special relationship between drivers. It also sheds light on one of Formula One’s greatest drivers on an intimate level, which makes for an interesting watch.
The film also delves further into the Lotus and Mario Andretti conspiracy, as well as features tributes from many legendary names. Further affirming Peterson’s legendary status. Not only by fans of the sport but also by the sport’s greatest.
While it seems that the film will only interest Formula One fans or people interested in racing, we think that anyone and everyone will appreciate it. Apart from the sport, the film also shows how determination, hard work and humility can help you achieve your dreams.
Which is truly powerful.
The film will be aired on 14 May 2018 at the European Union Film Festival, held at the National Gallery Singapore.
About the European Union Film Festival
The European Union Film Festival (EUFF), Singapore’s longest running foreign film festival, returns for its 28th edition. The EUFF, known for showcasing the best of contemporary European cinema, will run from May 10 to May 20, 2018. All films will be screened at National Gallery Singapore.
The 28th EUFF will be presenting over 20 films from across Europe with Austria as the featured country this year.
The festival will continue EUFF’s long tradition of collaborating with a Singaporean film school. Partnering for the fourth time with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies, the EUFF will present short films by students and alumni of the school alongside the official film selection.
In this landmark year, the 28th EUFF is proud to showcase the EU-SINGAPORE-ASEAN special collaboration with a presentation of the film Fragment, an omnibus film celebrating the strength and diversity of South-East Asian independent cinema. Made up of a collage of ten stories, each story distinctively embraces the other’s subjectivities.
Tickets priced at $12 is available for sale through SISTIC from April 9.
FOLLOW THE FESTIVAL:
Facebook: fb.com/euffsg Twitter: @EUinSingapore #EUFFSG