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Saturday, 08 March 2014 17:22

'Maidentrip' sails solo around the world with a teenager + Video

'Maidentrip' sails solo around the world with a teenager www.maidentrip.com
Written by Diane Carson
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In August 2010, aboard the 11.5 meter, two-masted ketch Guppy, 14-year-old Laura Dekker set off from her home Dutch port, hoping to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. No support boat would bail her out in the event of serious trouble. January 2012, after 519 days and 27,000 nautical miles, 16-year-old Laura succeeded.

Regularly, Laura shot digital footage that director Jillian Schlesinger uses throughout her documentary "Maidentrip." To help viewers visualize Laura's route, attractive animation by Moth Collective highlights noteworthy stops, such as the Canary Islands, St. Maarten, Panama, the Galapagos, and French Polynesia. Most appealing are the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, the clouds and the beautiful colors of the ocean from dark blue to translucent turquoise.

Laura's circumnavigation is an amazing accomplishment by a periodically reflective, determined young woman. However, because Laura had to keep her camera off during storms and dire conditions, the film becomes as tiresome as some of the days without wind. Moreover, Laura offers meager insight into her adventure--she is a young teenager and her musings follow. Theoretically, there's great drama in Laura's courage and risk, but we don't feel it because Schlesinger's chronicling fails to find the excitement as one day drifts into the next. Even Laura's thumbs up spunkiness gets redundant.

Better editing was needed, and I'd have loved to learn much more about Laura's technical and tactical decisions. After all, she sailed around the world. We're teased by a comment Laura makes about charts and software but end up learning very little. "Maindentrip" makes it look pretty easy, and anyone who's sailed a big lake in treacherous conditions knows that's far from accurate. I wanted to appreciate Laura's accomplishment viscerally along with savoring the meditative calm prevalent in "Maidentrip."

Primarily in Dutch with English subtitles , with some English,. The St. Louis premiere of "Maindertrip" is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14th through Sunday, March 16th. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.
 

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