By Lynn Venhaus
This is the future.
Formula E Championship Racing is the world’s fastest growing motorsport since its inception in 2014. “And We Go Green” is a behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking series, showing racing footage interwoven with candid interviews with the elite drivers Jean-Eric Vergne, Nelson Piquet Jr., Sam Bird, Lucas di Grassi and Andre Lotterer as they race for victory across 10 major cities during the 2017-2018 season.
While it might not seem as exciting as Formula One, the film explains its formation and looks at some of the drivers currently on the circuit. We travel to 12 of the world’s greatest cities to witness the racers’ adventurous road.
Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, among others, he is seen discovering the Aquafuel that runs the cars, along with high-tech and complex batteries and operations. He is a well-known environmental activist.
Screenwriter Mark Monroe concentrates on the redemption stories, the drivers whose need for speed has led them on complicated journeys.
Smoking a cigar and perched on a yellow couch, founder Alejandro Agag tells his equally fascinating story. An aide to the prime minister of Spain, he became the youngest man elected to Parliament. He resigned when he married the prime minister’s daughter. A character – and an entrepreneur – he founded Formula E. Turns out the environment wasn’t his guiding passion, but of course, he supports going green.
The moody, temperamental Jean-Eric Vergne, nicknamed “Jev,” has something to prove while he seeks the championship. So does Britain’s Sam Bird, always a bridesmaid. Then there is a legacy, Nelson Piquet Jr., whose dad was a frenemy of Senna, Brazil’s greatest sportscar driver. He has his share of troubles.
Their rivalry helps fuel this documentary, which is fairly standard as sports documentaries go. The sport, in its infancy, will only grow in stature now that Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porche joined as sponsors in the fifth year. That’s a coda tacked on to the end.
Like “Ford vs. Ferrari,” you don’t need to be a gearhead to enjoy this movie. It may help to understand the intricacies and mindset, but not required.
“And We Go Green” is a Documentary directed by Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville. It is not rated and is
Not Rated and is 1 hr. 39 min. long. Lynn’s Grade B. Available on Hulu on June 4.
A version of this review ran in the Webster-Kirkwood Times online.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat daily newspaper. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association.