Uncharted Filmhaüs: Reviewing ‘Maidentrip’ & ‘Craigslist Joe’

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Welcome to Uncharted Filmhaüs: the magical land of films you’ll probably never watch.

Maidentrip

Released 2013 – Documentary, Director Jillian Schlesinger

Craigslist Joe

Released 2012 – Documentary, Director Joseph Garner

A quiet heroism lies in the shared solitude and eventual achievement of both Laura Dekker (Maidentrip, 2013) and Joseph Garner (Craigslist Joe, 2012) as each set out to prove the infinite worth of adventure and the immortal spirit of the pioneer. While both films may ultimately present a similarly shared story of growth through the soft interactions of the human journey, neither set out on the same path in order to do so.

In Craigslist Joe, Joseph Garner, a twenty-something Los Angelino, argues that the compassion of strangers and presence of community are not dead but as gracious and dependable as ever. He sets out on a 30-day adventure around the U.S. with nothing but his toothbrush, change of clothes, cell phone and laptop computer. Solely through posts and offerings from people found on Craigslist, Garner is dependent on the goodwill of strangers for food, places to stay, rides and other unique experiences. Garner appears humble and vulnerable as he sets his course to prove that the soul of humanity is alive and kicking.

Laura Dekker (Maidentrip) on the other hand, at the age of 14, sets sail to be the youngest human to circumnavigate the globe, alone. The teenager proves to every naysayer in the world not only that she’s capable of completing such a task, but that her spirit to do so is unbreakable. Dekker spends nearly two years at sea, filming herself sail and interact with folks she meets along the 27,000 mile trek.

While both documentaries have a distinct mission and message, what unites these two films in a cinematic bond seems unique to this generation of film. It is the lonely process of movement. Neither film is loud nor exaggerated. Neither film overextends its message of accomplishment in order to pander to its audience. Instead, each film allows for a more quiet and simple story to rise to the surface, one of vulnerability and resolve. In fact, Dekker has come out publicly, stating that the depiction of her voyage is even still too inflated with her amazing feat, as she wanted her film to include more footage of the day-to-day tasks of sailing. By keeping such stories simple and honest, the audience is able to make a more proper connection with the humility of Garner and Dekker and less with the available ego and opulence of such triumph.

And therein lies the beauty of each film: Through humility, we find heroism.

So sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn & stretch your legs, your mind, and your soul.