Tracker Pixel for Entry

​“Maiden” Doc Sails Around the World with Tracy Edwards and Her Crew

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | July 17th, 2019

Maiden screenshot

Legendary British skipper Tracy Edwards, who in 1989 led the first all-female crew of sailors to compete in the tough-as-nails, 33,000-mile Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, makes for a convincing heroine in filmmaker Alex Holmes’ thrilling sports documentary “Maiden.” Named for the refurbished, King Hussein of Jordan-sponsored vessel Edwards piloted in the competition, the film unfolds with a strong sense of adventure and excitement -- due in part to the likely ignorance of a majority of viewers who don’t know the outcome of the contest, and also to the urgency and immediacy suggested by Katie Bryer’s skillful editing.

Yacht racing, when referenced at all in mainstream popular culture, suggests wealth, whiteness, masculinity, exclusivity, and privilege. Holmes doesn’t comprehensively dispel these characteristics, but does emphasize the rebellious, scrappy, outsider aspects of Edwards during her restless youth. The exposition, handled with economy, sets the film’s core thematic agenda: a tradition-smashing bid for respect in a space historically closed off to women. A period clip from a local news station package draws laughs and gasps. The merciless and cruel male chauvinism of observers is still present in several of the newly-shot interviews. And yet, then and now, Edwards is determined and undaunted.

Holmes cuts among straightforward talking head interviews with crew, rival sailors, journalists, and others to fill in the narrative of the odyssey, but the lower-quality, archival, shot-on-video footage, often taken by Maiden cook (and Edwards’ childhood friend) Joanna Gooding, gives the director gripping raw material illustrating the power and extremes of weather conditions throughout the race. Those seafaring images are Edwards’ equal in star power, and should drive viewers to the movie. “Maiden” additionally weaves together recollections from Edwards’ supporting cast of voyagers, providing details about all kinds of doubts, fears, and challenges. One noteworthy example is the personality conflict that led to the dismissal of first mate Marie-Claude Kieffer Heys.

During the course of the film, which charts the progress of the nine-month endeavor through its six legs, the commitment of the women to the cause and to the boat and to each other transcends the obvious messages of gender-indicated empowerment to say something even more profound. Edwards is rock-solid in this respect, delivering one naked truth bomb after another on the topics of both sailing and misogyny, with articulate, crystalline, no-bullshit perspicacity. The women on board the Maiden, nearly all of whom are on hand to look back, speak with such candor, tears will stain the cheeks of all but the hardest spectators.

Holmes, who first encountered Edwards when she spoke at his daughter’s school, suggests that the feminism of yesterday versus today can illustrate the insidious grip of entrenched, male-run institutions. Reflecting and refracting the ongoing conversations around everything from the salary inequity between male and female soccer players to the alleged child sex trafficking hellscape perpetuated by Jeffrey Epstein (the latter of which is brilliantly addressed by Rebecca Solnit in her recent Literary Hub essay “In Patriarchy No One Can Hear You Scream”), “Maiden” can be read as both time capsule and time bomb. 

Recently in:

WATFORD CITY – A reported 10-gallon spill of liquid gold at the Garden Creek I Gas Processing Plant in 2015 – just before the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy – could now be renamed as the largest land spill in human…

The 2019 North Dakota Senior Games begin this Thursday, August 15 and will continue through Saturday, August 17. There are 20 events scheduled for the Senior Games, which take place at various locations around Fargo and West Fargo.…

Thursday, August 29, 6-10 p.m.This Skateshop, 625 1st Ave. N, FargoShop vintage, enjoy a complimentary drink, play some vintage board games, VHS movies will be projected on the wall. It’s predicted that it will be an epic night for all!

Editorial

The power of song

by Sabrina Hornung

In this issue David Crosby said, “You know, music is like a lifting force. It makes things better.” Truer words have never been spoken. This week we decided to change things up a bit and offer our readers an exclusive music…

Basing Gun Control On Militia Muskets Is NutsThere was a picture of hundreds of colorful backpacks in the Fargo Forum that were distributed to children at the Fargodome a couple of days ago. It was part of the 21st Annual 2019…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Ojata Records and the Dogmajal owner and operator Jeremy Swisher about the ever-growing Grand Forks record store and hotdog shop.HPR: We might as well get the elephant…

If you’ve ever craved an outdoor music festival where you can walk to downtown shops, do yoga or go fishing in between sets, you’re in luck. The Greenway Takeover Festival returns to two stages in the heart of Grand Forks…

By Scott Ecker notharrisonford@gmail.comLast Tuesday I joined many local artists and audience members for Theatre B’s season preview at the Hjemkomst Center. As one of their board members, I see Theatre B regulars very often. …

Arts

‘Local American epics’

by Sabrina Hornung

The US Postal Service recently released a set of stamps celebrating the New Deal era post office murals that were federally commissioned during the Roosevelt administration, though the mural that graces the walls of the New…

The annual mainstage summer musical, produced by Trollwood Performing Arts School and sponsored by Bell Bank, opens Thursday, July 11. This year’s performance is Disney’s “Freaky Friday.” Trollwood Performing Arts…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights…The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and…