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Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation – Hot Docs 2024

Since Emmanuel Reyé has a personal stake in the Le Mans 55 crash, it can be hard to call this film a truly objective documentary. That said, fans of motor racing and/or true crime might find something to like out of this documentary.

Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation – Hot Docs 2024

Synopsis:
The spectacle and grandeur of the 1955 Le Mans motor race became known not as a compelling contest but rather for the tragedy that occurred on June 11. Heated competition among the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, Jaguar and other manufacturers had tensions rising high as they attempted to prove their superiority but, on that now infamous day, a massive crash occurred. During the race, one of the cars careened off the course and crashed into the crowd, resulting in the deaths of 83 people and injuring more than 120 others. Among those who died were filmmaker Emmanuel Reyé’s two uncles. Here, Reyé takes an investigative look into exactly what led to this tragedy. Through careful and thorough research, he unpacks the cover-ups, the oversights and the shady corporate corruption that led to the deadliest race in history.

Table of Contents

French filmmaker Emmanuel Reyé investigates the worst accident in the history of motor racing, which took the lives of two of his uncles in . On June 11, 1955, during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the Mercedes driven by French driver Pierre Levegh crashed into the stands, killing 82 and injuring a further 120. Emmanuel Reyé lost his uncles Claude and François during the accident and he tries to investigate to find answers to the lingering questions about the incident.

Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation Synopsis

Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation is an expose-type documentary directed by Emmanuel Reyé, who investigated the events leading up to the fatal 1955 crash during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is still one of the world's most popular motor racing events. All the documents from the investigation are sealed until 2031, resulting in Emmanuel Reyé investigating on his own, going into details such as the rivalry between Mercedes and Jaguar and how the dangerous driving of Jaguar's Mike Hawthorn was a possible cause for the crash.

My Thoughts on Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation

One error I made going into Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation, was believing that it involved the same fatal crash depicted in the film Ferrari, which instead occurred two years later. Since Emmanuel Reyé has a personal stake in the Le Mans 55 crash, it can be hard to call Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation a truly objective documentary, as a lot of the arguments can be interpreted as speculative. That said, fans of motor racing and/or true crime might find something to like out of this documentary.

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How to Watch Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation – Hot Docs 2024

Where to Stream Le Mans 55: The Unauthorized Investigation – Hot Docs 2024

Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.