Four decades ago, a couple of young guys hauled a bicycle up Mont Simmerstein in a rugged pocket of the Austrian Alps and attempted to ride down. The mountain — known as the Sea of Rock for its jagged armor of boulders, stones and cliffs — destroyed the bike. Local mountain biker Harald Philipp has attempted the descent many times and failed — pits, technical sections and razor-sharp stones make it a nightmare. In Sea of Rock, Philipp recruits pro trails rider Thomas Ohler in the hope that, by combining their knowledge, they can successfully thread through the wicked terrain. The film follows the riders as they find lines through this imposing and beautiful landscape, chasing the long sought-after goal with two completely different styles.
Laura Dekker knew more about herself at the age of 13 than most of us will learn over a lifetime. At that age, she was already fighting the government of her native Holland for the right to sail around the world — solo. With support from her non-traditional family (she was born on a boat in New Zealand and traveled by sea with her now-divorced parents for the first five years of her life), she won the battle and set sail on a grand adventure a year later at age 14. Her dream was “to be the youngest ever to sail around the world alone,” but she didn’t want to set a speed record. Instead, she sought to experience the remote and wonderful corners of the planet on her own. Much of this brilliant and endearing documentary captures Dekker’s own words with video she shot during the journey. But director Jillian Schlesinger weaves it together with her own footage, media reports and charming animation to tell the story of this precocious and lovely young woman, whose fascinating life has only just begun.