Is True Spirit Based on a True Story and How Accurate Is It? Real-Life Events Explained

Is True Spirit Based on a True Story and How Accurate Is It Real Life Events
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Art often imitates life, and some of the best stories told on screens are based on real-life events. Such is the case with the upcoming biographical drama called “True Spirit.” True Spirit follows the incredible Journey of Jessica Watson and her determined quest to sail the world. Fans enjoying the genre are hyped for the upcoming movie and want to know more about its background. We’re going to use this opportunity to tell you whether True Spirit was based on a true story and real events and how accurate it is in depicting them.

True Spirit is based on the true story of Jessica Watson, who was the youngest person to ever sail around the world, non-stop and unassisted. The movie depicts her experiences of trouble she stumbled upon, and to ensure the accuracy of the movie, Jessica worked with Netflix’s team as a consultant so that the movie could be technically accurate as possible.  

Now that we’ve covered that the movie is based on a true story and that Jessica herself ensured that it would be as accurate as possible, it’s time to analyze the details regarding it. If you’re interested in the true event behind the movie, stay with us and keep reading!

What is the movie True Spirit about? 

True Spirit is a biographical adventure drama directed by Sarah Spillane that deals with one young woman’s journey to sail around the world completely unassisted. Jessica Watson is played by Teagan Croft, with an excellent supporting cast of Anna Paquin and Cliff Curtis. The movie is exciting, gripping, and a true depiction of the events that took place over the course of 210 days. 

Is the movie True Spirit based on a true story? 

True Spirit was based on the true story of Jessica Watson (16 years old at the time), who is the youngest person in history to sail around the world, uninterrupted and unassisted. The event took place between October 18, 2009, and May 15, 2010. During her Journey, Jessica had to rely on her skills and only supplies that she had with her, as she wasn’t allowed to moor into a harbor or on another ship.

She took occasional advice over a radio connection. Jessica’s journey was a remarkable feat of endurance, perseverance, and determination, as she faced many challenges along the way, including storms, equipment failures, and extreme weather conditions. She became the youngest person to complete a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation of the world, inspiring people around the world with her courage and Spirit.

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Jessica’s journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. However, she happened upon severe storms on her journey, her boat, “Pink Lady,” was caught off guard by equipment failures, and Jessica herself suffered from the effects of sleep deprivation. There was also one incident that she was most criticized for that happened during the test run. On September 9, around 2:00 AM, Jessica’s “Ella’s Pink Lady” boat collided with Silver Yang, a 63,000-tonne bulk carrier. The incident happened because Jessica and Silver Yang’s watchmen failed to notice that the boats were on a collision course promptly. Silver Yang noticed, but it was too late to change the course. Jessica failed to notice danger because she was asleep at the time. Before taking a quick nap, Jessica checked the radar before taking a nap, but she failed to notice Silver Yang approaching.  

Ellas Pink Lady
Jessica Watson’s boat Ella’s Pink Lady: source

Jessica Watson’s circumnavigation likewise came under severe scrutiny and was never recognized officially as a record-breaking journey in terms of distance. According to the definitions set by World Sailing Speed Record Council, Watson’s Journey was 21,600 nautical miles shorter than it needed to be in order to qualify for the record status in terms of round-the-world journeys. She was also under eighteen at the time, 16 years old to be more precise, which was a problem in itself when it came to the legality of the journey. 

Watson was heavily criticized for her young age, and some critics claimed that it was an irresponsible journey made more dangerous by the failure to realize what it entails. Even though Watson is the younger person to sail the world unassisted and uninterrupted, she was never recognized in an official manner by some of the most relevant organizations. 

Watson wrote a book called True Spirit, released in 2010, detailing her experiences and hardships at the open sea. The government bought her boat, “Ella’s Pink Lady,” for $300 000, and it stayed as a permanent exhibition at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane, Australia. For her incredible feat, Watson was awarded the Order of Australia Medal. Even though Watson is proud of her accomplishments, now that she reflects upon the events, she claims she doesn’t want to stay that person forever. 

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“”I’m so grateful for the things that enabled that, and the fun I had along the way – but I really want something separate and not just be that 16-year-old forever,” she says. “And that is still maddening [that people still think that way], and this is going to constantly bring people back to that again.” 

How accurate is True Spirit when it comes to true events? 

We’ve mentioned that Jessica encountered numerous difficulties on her journey, and in order for everything to be technically and adequately recreated, she served as a consultant for the Netflix team. 

Is True Spirit based on true story how accurate is it 1
Teagan Croft as Jessica Watson

Her boat Ella’s Pink Lady, was likewise re-created for the movie. In an interview with The Sidney Morning Herald, Watson commented on the emotionally charged filming.

“It was super emotional,” she says. “And that was without finished music or CGI … even then, it was really, really powerful for me.”

Everyone interested in the story and Jessica Watson’s incredible and emotional journey will have the opportunity to enjoy this biographical drama on February 3, when it will be released on Netflix.

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