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44 Ratings


Directed by Jillian Schlesinger
United States, 2013
Documentary, Adventure, Biography


14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

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Maidentrip Directed by Jillian Schlesinger

Awards & Festivals

SXSW Film Festival

2013 | Winner: Visions (Audience Award)

Director Jillian Schlesinger doesn’t try to editorialize, presenting Dekker as the intrepid prodigy she clearly believes herself to be, and downplays any danger or controversy Dekker encountered during her mission (such as the Dutch authorities’ efforts to forestall her journey). At best this functions as a pleasant aquatic travelogue; at worst it validates a teenage girl’s egotism.
January 22, 2014
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The resulting documentary arrives in theaters almost four years after Dekker raised anchor from a port in Gibraltar, the world as we know it at her back, and the movie… absolutely embarrasses our expectations for it. Hardly the banal and self-satisfied portrait that we’ve been conditioned to expect from such obvious narratives of empowerment, “Maidentrip” is such a vitally different experience because the film resonates with its subject’s utter refusal to conform to what’s expected of it.
January 16, 2014
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With little to vary the onboard visuals — you can’t hold a camera while battling winds or adjusting rigging — the extreme dangers and demands of the trip remain frustratingly invisible. Watching Laura eat and gaze at “super awesome” waves is far from riveting, and glimpses of her exotic stopovers are much too brief to engage. Viewed as an unconventional portrait of maturing adolescence, however," Maidentrip" works, presenting isolation as a calmative to the squalls of puberty.
January 16, 2014
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