True Spirit tells the story of Jessica Watson (Teagan Croft), who at 16 years of age, circumnavigated the globe, sailing alone, non-stop, and unaided.
Jessica grew up on the Gold Coast of Queensland, in a family of 4 siblings. She spent a lot of her early life in and around the water and from a very young age dreamed of sailing around the world. Jessica trained with Ben Bryant (Cliff Curtis) who became her friend and mentor. With the support of Ben and her parents, Roger (Josh Lawson) and Julie (Anna Paquin), Jessica makes her plans to set sail.
On 18 October 2009 Jessica sets sail and spends the next 209 days at sea. She sails through the Pacific, across the equator, past Cape Horn in South America, across the Atlantic, past the Cape of Good Hope and through the Indian Ocean. During this time, she faces severe challenges with storms as well as calm weather, which she finds mentally challenging. At one point there is no wind for 7 days and it’s during this time that she feels most alone. Incredibly, she goes on to complete what she set out to do, becoming the youngest person to sail solo around the world.
True Spirit has some violence. For example:
- Jessica encounters violent storms at sea, which toss her small boat about. On one occasion she falls and hits her head, rendering her unconscious for some time.
- A further, particularly violent storm tips her boat upside down. The boat sinks below the water and Jessica is seen hanging upside down, tied to her bed.
There are no sexual references in True Spirit.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
True Spirit has some substance use. For example there is some drinking at home.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in True Spirit.
True Spirit has some product placement. For example, an Apple laptop is displayed or used in this movie.
True Spirit has some coarse language. For example, ‘oh my God’ and ‘bugger’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
True Spirit is an inspiring story about a young girl’s courage and determination to achieve her dream. The film follows the story of Jessica’s journey with flashbacks to her early childhood. The scenes of her small boat battling the huge waves are quite terrifying and the film is best suited to families with children aged 9 years and over.
The main messages from True Spirit are to follow your dreams and not be deterred by the scepticism of other people.
Values in True Spirit that you could reinforce with your children are courage, bravery, support, encouragement, and the importance of family.
True Spirit could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of keeping a positive attitude and embracing your strengths. For example, Jessica suffered from dyslexia and always had a problem with learning how to read, however, this didn’t stop her from achieving her goals. This could be an opportunity to discuss with your children that certain difficulties shouldn’t stop you from achieving in other areas that you are good at.