Netflix’s ‘True Spirit‘ is based on the real-life story of Jessica Watson, an Australian sailor. The movie portrays how Jessica (Teagan Croft), at the age of 16, became the youngest person to sail the world alone. People expect her to fail, but the support of her mentor and parents becomes a force that guides her through the treacherous ocean. In 210 days, she overcomes her fears, doubts, and mental and physical challenges that transform the teenager into an inspiration who’s a force to be reckoned with.
Director Sarah Spillane ensures the film depicts not only Jessica’s success but also the hardships she had to endure to achieve it. If this inspiring story is a wake-up call for you to act upon your dreams, you’d love the ones in the list that we’ve curated specially for you. You can watch most of these movies like ‘True Spirit’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
8. The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)
‘The Other Side of the Mountain’ is based on E. G Valen’s novel ‘A Long Way Up: The Story of Jill Kinmont,’ an account of Jill Kinmont, a ski racing champion. The drama romance film showcases how the accomplished woman was paralyzed after an accident. She starts anew and works her way up from complete helplessness to self-sufficiency.
Jill’s (Marilyn Hassett) best friend (who has polio) and family accompany her on this journey to pioneer the metaphorical mountain of life. The film is helmed by Larry Peerce, who does complete justice to the source material. Much like Jessica in ‘True Spirit,’ Jill conquers unforeseen challenges with the help of a great support system and her unshakable willpower.
7. Mary Kom (2014)
‘Mary Kom‘ is the biography of the eponymous boxer, and it exhibits her journey filled with financial obstacles, sexism, partiality, and motherhood. She takes these challenges head-on to fulfill her ultimate dream. In the film, Mary (Priyanka Chopra) exemplifies what it means to be resilient. The Indian Hindi-language film is directed by Omung Kumar, who strikes a balance between dramatization and realism. If you were impressed by ‘True Spirit’ being a female-centric film that exuberates what women are truly capable of, ‘Mary Kom’ is a must-watch for you.
6. Race (2016)
‘Race’ is a biographical sports drama about Jesse Owens, an African-American athlete. He trains under a coach to become a track and field athlete. Unfortunately, the sportsman faces racism due to the Aryan supremacists of the Nazi era, but he still manages to become one of the greatest Olympians the world has ever seen. This Stephen Hopkins directorial is a glimpse into the racial struggles of people who were capable of excellence but were denied the opportunity due to propaganda. The protagonists in both movies are underestimated because they do not fit into a certain stereotype. However, they prove the naysayers wrong with their skill and determination.
5. Ride Like A Girl (2019)
‘Ride Like A Girl’ is a biographical film about Michelle Payne, the youngest of 10 children in her family. Her father is a racehorse trainer, and she aspires to become a jockey someday. The people around her were demotivating and brought down her morale, but after becoming the first female to win the 2015 Melbourne cup, she shut them down in her iconic speech. Rachel Griffiths directs this movie and beautifully encapsulates the young girl’s grit and strength to go beyond her limits. ‘Ride Like A Girl’ and ‘True Spirit’ are movies that depict how a woman can accomplish great things with a robust support system.
4. Queen Of Katwe (2016)
‘Queen of Katwe’ is the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who lives in a slum of Kampala, the impoverished surroundings weigh down on her, but after being introduced to chess, she finds hope. At first, the tournaments and players intimidate her, but she triumphs over it all purely through her skills. The movie is directed by Mira Nair, who portrays the reality of chess, where young black women are almost non-existent in the game and are severely underestimated. Phiona and Jessica have an innate drive that puzzles people around them, but they don’t let their close-mindedness culminate into self-doubt.
3. Soul Surfer (2011)
‘Soul Surfer‘ is based on the autobiography by Bethany Hamilton titled, ‘Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting To Get Back on the Board.’ In the movie, a tiger shark unexpectedly attacks Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) and decapitates her left arm. However, she returns to the ocean and doesn’t let her love for surfing die due to the circumstances.
She learns to surf with one arm and comes out victorious after the tragedy. Director Sean McNamara excels at stirring up the viewers’ emotions and also delivers an unpredictable ending. If you love movies where a person’s biggest obstacle is overcoming themselves, which further helps them unlock their true potential as it did in ‘True Spirit,’ then ‘Soul Surfer’ is a must-watch.
2. Adrift (2018)
‘Adrift‘ is a survival drama set in 1983, during the Hurricane Raymond season. The movie is inspired by Tami Oldham Ashcraft’s book, ‘Red Sky Mourning,’ the true story of a couple. Tami and Richard Sharp set out on a voyage to Japan but find themselves amidst the biggest hurricane in recorded history. The two fight against towering waves and harsh winds, unknowing of whether they will live or die.
Baltasar Kormákur directs the movie between past and present circumstances without confusing the viewers and keeping them at the edge of their seats. ‘Adrift’ and ‘True Spirit’ is a war against the ocean, where every tide is unpredictable, and the people are at the mercy of nature. ‘Adrift’ and ‘True Spirit’ is a war against the ocean, where every tide is unpredictable, and the people are at the mercy of nature.
1. The Mercy (2018)
James Marsh’s directorial, ‘The Mercy,’ is a British biographical drama about Donald Crowhurst, an amateur sailor who plans a solo trip around the world. He competes in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race without proper planning and execution. During his journey, he encounters several threats and aghast loneliness.
The movie is directed by James Marsh, who doesn’t hesitate to show the gruesome reality of this act without sugarcoating the whole ordeal. James and Jessica both have the same objective of sailing around the world, and they encounter similar difficulties in fighting against the waves, coupled with loneliness.
Read More: Where was Netflix’s True Spirit Filmed?