Maiden’s greatest strength may be the way director Alex Holmes (Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story) harnesses the inherent suspense and intrigue of a slice of history that many viewers have never heard about.
The well-made documentary on Tracy Edwards and the all-woman crew she assembles to compete in the grueling Whitbread Round the World sailboat race in 1989 employs the usual formula of contemporary talking head interviews and plentiful archival footage, including tons from aboard the titular boat itself — the source of which is maddeningly never addressed.
But conventional non-fiction filmmaking aside, the story, players, and imagery are assembled in such a thoughtful manner that the results are frequently thrilling as well as inspiring.
Invested viewers curious about what the subjects have been doing over the past 30 years will be disappointed, but as a documentary focused on Edwards, her team, and the Whitbread, Maiden delivers the goods.
Grade: B. Rated PG. Now playing at Grail Moviehouse
(Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)