SAILING MISS SADIE: a 60-minute documentary film
Sailing Miss Sadie was first shown at the Gate Cinema in Notting Hill, London, before being broadcast on Sky & the Discovery Channel in 2010. It has since been repeated several times. The film was fuelled by filmmaker & Prince’s Trust Ambassador Sadie Kaye’s passion for preventing young people free-fall through the criminal justice system on course for short & violent lives.
The film provides three persistent young offenders, selected by The Prince’s Trust, with an opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words, far away from the pressures of gang culture, victim mentality, negative influences in their communities & unhelpful labels. They engage in skilled activities and are forced to adapt to alien cultures that challenge them physically & mentally, inspiring them to develop bold new philosophies & outlooks.
After a thrilling & grueling sail from the UK to Venezuela in hurricane conditions, Sadie’s motley crew arrive in Venezuela’s pulsating Capital, Caracas, then “the most dangerous city in the world”. Here, the British young offenders come face to face with their Venezuelan counterparts inside anarchic El Rodeo Jail, where the prisoners roam freely with automatic weapons & grenades.
They compare the terror caused by violent teenage gangs in parallel worlds, meeting prisoners & learning what it means to have your human rights violated in gruesome detail. Faced with a colossal problem and a system plagued by corruption, they are inspired by the bravery of ordinary citizens & ex-offenders going to extreme lengths to seize control of the streets, confronting teen rebels in Caracas slums and coercing them to join Venezuela’s Nobel Peace Prize-nominated gang rehabilitation program, Proyecto Alcatraz.
Some of the scenes in Venezuela are frankly disturbing, but an essential part of the subjects’ process of self-exploration. They return to the UK instilled with confidence, self-discipline and a renewed passion for living. The result is a fresh, quirky & edgy documentary film of courage, passion, spirit & hope.
Since returning to recession-hit, “Broken” Britain, the subjects have all managed to not re-offend, find jobs & remain in full-time employment or education. Sam – a former heroin addict – achieved his yacht master qualification & teaches sailing to disabled kids in Southampton. Chris – imprisoned for GBH until two days before the project started – successfully applied to Edinburgh University where he is reading Spanish. Geoffrey – a former drug dealer – set up his own vintage clothing business, while also training to be an actor, having won a place in the UK National Youth Theatre.
All three have inspired others to turn their backs on a vicious circle of crime & blame through their own charity projects. In fact, when Sadie could use some mentoring herself, she calls Geoffrey, Sam or Chris….