Watch one of the films mentioned in this section or any other ‘road movie’ of your choice. Write a short review (around 500 words), focusing on how the road features within the film’s narrative.
I chose to watch Maiden Trip, a documentary about fourteen-year old Laura Dekker who’s dream was to be the youngest person to sail around the world, solo. The documentary was created from all the footage she recorded herself on her journey, it provides a very intimate, personal look and even though she is on her own all this time, it doesn’t feel like she sailed solo as the viewer was with her.
She was born on a boat and spent five years on a boat, it’s all she’d ever wanted. The documentary started with a small boat, the Guppy, on a giant expanse of ocean which created an extraordinary feeling of vulnerability; indeed the Dutch court took her to court when she proposed the idea of sailing solo around the world and after ten months they relented. Her father, who also sailed, told her, “If you want to do this, go figure it out.” She contacted sponsorships, planned the route, purchased the equipment. She paints the image of such a strong person fighting the courts and succeeding, intelligent planning the routes and reading charts. Despite her sailing background, not every teenager would have had the guts to go through with something so dangerous and soul baring.
The courts described her as “Delusional, spoiled, arrogant, impulsive,” she only just escaped being put into a home for unstable children and taken away from her father. Is a dream worth persueing if it could shatter your life? Even if she didn’t care, what about her father? She does strike me as rather selfish and as the film went on she did change in my eyes yet not in a positive manner (this is just my personal opinion and it has been said that the documentary did not show the true side of her, yet the footage clearly indicates how rude she was to the journalist and other people)
The ocean served as the road, to change her perception of life, promoting a personal journey. She was mature enough to handle the sailing, the isolation, even the loneliness especially after the huge stint across the Atlantic. However I do feel that she took a lot of risks on the islands she landed on, travelling in cars with people she’d just met. She clearly lacked experience and was too trusting or naive. This voyage could have headed down a more sinister route. This mindset didn’t change yet nothing bad happened. At first, she seemed lonely but as the journey went on she became more at home with her own company (though she seemed to enjoy that before anyway)
This mindset didn’t change yet nothing bad happened. At first, she seemed slightly lonely asking the dolphins to stay longer with her, her voice seemed shaky with tears but as the journey went on she became more at home with her own company (though she seemed to enjoy that before anyway)
Travelling through the Panama canal as the gates opened and her little boat sailed through Laura said everything was changing now, she was heading into the Pacific, past New Zealand, Australia and onwards to Africa.
The harder the toils thrown by the ocean the stronger she seemed to be, and the longer she spent away from human company, the more she prefered to be on her own. Her strength and courage in the face of danger never changed, she was as confident at the beginning as she was by the end. The course of the sea (the road) was sometimes still and sometimes fierce but it always gave her time to think and appreciate the wonder of each new day.
You could really feel her emotions her past, her friends leaving, her Mum leaving, her Dad’s breakdown and being screamed at, needing to deal with from a very young child. The situation has forced her to grow up quite quickly, she has a confident exterior but a rather fragile inside.
She wanted to be the first person to travel solo around the world but as the journey went on suddenly that doesn’t matter. She passed New Zealand yet couldn’t stop if she was to gain her record. This upset her deeply, she wanted to throw in the towel and just go to New Zealand, the place she was born. Suddenly it wasn’t about the destination or the acclaim, it was just about her on her boat, being free with the ocean. She’d made peace with her past, and realised she wanted to return to her homeland New Zealand (which she did after the voyage) The more time spent away the more she became fixated on her goal to return to New Zealand, to completely cut her ties with Netherlands. As the journey went on, she was in charge of herself, organising customs at every place she stopped, handling the unpredictable personality of the ocean. She felt she didn’t need her Dad in the same way anymore, she’d grown up and looked after herself for two years. She’d undergone a change but it wasn’t all positive, she prefered to be on her own and not have people bothering her. While at first she loved visiting islands she now prefered her own company, her boat and the ocean. She said after not seeing him for a year she didn’t miss her Dad anymore and prefered to be away from people.
In a spur of rebellion, she changed her boat flag from the Netherlands to New Zeland She declared she didn’t have a home anymore.
On seeing the huge welcome prepared for her, the fans, her family who had flown out to the Carribean she said she wished she could just sail on. I understand the peace of isolation, at one with the ocean, but to want to ignore her family seemed very selfish.
I think the voyage gave her the chance to actually soak in her past, to explore it then to remove it, to push it into the ocean and venture forwards. It wasn’t just a journey of adventure but a journey of personal discovery.
In terms of social interaction, her journey of isolation (20,000 nautical miles in 519 days) changed her slightly in the fact that she appreciated some moments are more beautiful to be shared with someone else but she still prefered to be on her own. The journey was incredible and very insightful and I agree she changed but in my opinion it was in to a rather self obsessed person with disregard for anyone else.