What we have from director Alex Holmes — a guy who knows a great cinematic story when he hears one — is a documentary with all the nervous-making energy of a first-rate drama; a cast of sailors who are both endearing and intelligent; and a delicately wrought suspense story.
Holmes does an incredible job writing and directing this already action-packed narrative into an impressive documentary. He carefully weaves the crew’s interviews tightly together so that it seems like they’re almost talking among themselves, instead of in separate one-on-one interviews.
Mixing archival material and fresh interviews with Edwards and her crewmembers, Holmes creates an engaging, suspenseful story with layers of social resonance. Maiden is gripping and effective even if — maybe especially if — you have absolutely no interest in sailing.