Good documentaries bring to light some amazing stories that have somehow been forgotten. That is the case with "Maiden," the completely engaging film from Alex Holmes that sheds light on the first all-female crew to compete Whitbread Round the World Race. It's an edge of your seat sports film, but also an empowering piece of cinema that is a complete joy to watch.

Holmes allows the women in the crew, led by captain Tracy Edwards, to tell their tale - along with a few men - using current day interviews intertwined with some incredible footage of the 1989 race the women competed in.

We learn of Edwards background and how she developed a love for racing, and her plan to go from the cook to the captain of her own boat.

She is such an interesting person that her story would be enough for "Maiden" to work and remain interesting, but it's the stories from other members of the crew - including Edwards longtime friend Jeni Mundy - that really flesh out the film. 

By the time the story shifts to the race - where the Maiden enjoyed some success as well as adversity - we've really got to know the women, making their journey around the world that much more engaging for the audience.

It's this footage that really shows what they were up against, a grueling test of will that is not for the faint of heart.

It's an empowering story, even if the women didn't see themselves as trailblazers when they first began their journey - with Holmes letting the story make the case for this incredible journey Edwards and the rest of the crew were willing to take.

You don't have to be a racing fan to appreciate this story, or this film. In a year that has already included a pair of outstanding documentaries, "Amazing Grace" and "Apollo 11," "Maiden" is right up there as a must see event.


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