One of the coolest stories of the 21st century so far is that of Laura Dekker, the Dutch young woman who, just a few years ago as a teenager, became the youngest person to sail around the world alone.
In a world where helicopter parents worry about micro aggressions, it’s inspiring to see someone so competent and ambitious that such adventure is even still possible.
The film is mostly assembled from her own video diary on the year-and-a-half journey, with her narration, sometimes in Dutch with subtitles, and sometimes in English. We see her working hard, making tough choices, and exploring the world. She gets scared, but goes on, anyway.
This is no stale propaganda for being super human, though. Laura drops a few f-bombs. In one scene where she has docked for a while, she grows irritated with a reporter and acts like a bit of a brat towards her. This is a real person living life.
The shots of the ocean are often majestic (the two pictures here are screenshots), and though nothing here strives for profound depth, the simple nature of the themes make this documentary something of a modern day Walden for teens.
The action gets going quite quickly, and bits of backstory about Laura’s youth and family are filled in as needed–another level at which many young viewers might relate.
It occurred to me while watching this that a Dutch teen sailing around the world offers far more real multicultural content to a typical American viewer than most of what passes for multiculturalism these days.
Check it out, and consider checking it out with your own children.