Review by John Delia, Sr.

Not the kind of guy that tears up unless it’s a real inspiring film that shows one of the following: extreme courage, bravery and daring, kindhearted sincerity, amazing stamina, or unusual determination. Well Maiden got me holding some drops back with all of the above. The movie reminded me of the never say die attitude of many underdog movies of the past, especially Miracle that pitted the USA against the worse odds of winning. But with Maiden the filmmakers show the astonishing determination of an all-women’s sailing crew that defies all odds.

It’s September 2, 1989 at the start of the Whitbread Yacht race and this 5th year challenge will be different. The grueling all men’s round the world sailing regatta is a spectacle of racing beyond the endurance of any land race in the world. Spanning over 33,000 nautical miles of forbidding ocean, the race of courage, strength, daring, bravery, and stamina has only been contested by men in the past. But, not this year, as one woman, Tracy Edwards, has broken the mold and entered a crew of all women.

It’s a dramatic and chancy challenge considering the length of the race and the number of days it takes to complete the distance to the finish. It can be as much as 160 plus days at sea, a crushing and psychologically mind numbing test of survival. Facing high surf, unpredictable wind speeds, possible damage, torrential rains and even snow, the route will take them to hell and back.

Tracy Edwards aboard the Maiden. Courtesy of Sony Classics

The Documentary’s director Alex Holmes uses actual film taken during the race, adds news footage, and then inserts interviews of with the crew of the sailed Maiden. Tracy Edwards along with most of the crew members, talk about the experience and how it was all put together some 4 years prior to the shotgun start. The editing is smooth and the presentation has a lot of drama and exhilarating content. But most of all it has heart, inspiration, determination and a camaraderie of women that fought against an unforgiving sea for fame and a chance to show that girls can do anything.

Maiden has been rated PG by the MPAA for language, thematic elements, some suggestive content and brief smoking images. It’s a very good film for family, sports enthusiasts, or just for the good inspiring feel it generates. (Do not research the event as it will take away some of the energy knowing how it all plays out).

The crew of the Maiden. Courtesy of Sony Classics

FINAL ANALYSIS: An exceptional documentary for all. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Tracy Edwards, Jeni Mundy, Mikaela Von Koskull
Directed by: Alex Holmes
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: PG for language, thematic elements, some suggestive content and brief smoking images
Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.
Opening Date: July 26, 2019
Distributed by: Sony Classics
Released in: Standard, Color

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