Starring: Chris O’Dowd , Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell. Written By: Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson. Directed By: Wayne Blair. Runtime 103 mins. In theaters March 22nd 2013.
As I walked into the Dolby 24 screening room I can admit I knew nothing about the film The Sapphires. I was completely aware it was a film based around music . Little did I know I would leave learning about a whole country’s horrid past and the story of four Aboriginal girls who had a dream and lived it for a brief moment.
The Sapphires tells the story of four Aboriginal (Indigenous Australians) girls who lived during what would be considered a black eye in Australia’s history. In the movie’s opening scene we see the girls at a very young age, they show off their singing talents to their parents and people in their mission (indigenous settlement). Their performance was interrupted when two government cars roll up on the settlement to take away the children. The children are told to go hide and are led by Gail (Deborah Mailman) but to no avail poor Gail witnesses her cousin and best friend Kay ( Sheri Sebbens) being taking away. Kay was a victim of what they called the “Stolen Generation” where Aboriginal children who looked “white” were taken away to be assimilated into white society.
Flash forward to 1968 the Vietnam War is raging on and the Civil Rights movement is in full swing in the states. The girls have grown into young teenagers now and are led by big sister Gail. The three sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia are excited about a talent show in town and gearing up to participate. The younger of the three Julie (Jessica Mauyboy) is informed by mom and big sister she can’t go because she has a son and she’s the little sister. Gail and Cynthia make it just in time to perform in front of not so favorable white crowd little did they know Julie snuck out and surprises them and joins the act. Their performance catches the eye and ear of a struggling talent scout Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd).
Dave becomes the girls manager and agrees to help them get into Sapphire form by introducing them to soul music. They also reunite with Kay who’s was taken away earlier in the film. Gail is not too pleased to see her cousin who has been assimilated or in some cases brainwashed to believe she’s above her Aboriginal roots. They head to Vietnam a group of misguided girls but slowly come together as they perform for the American troops.
The Sapphires is more than just a “feel good” movie it’s a history lesson with a musical soundtrack. Me being an African American can appreciate this film cause there is such a strong correlation with my ancestors struggle. I didn’t know much about the struggle of the Aboriginal but walked out of that theater with knowledge of them and what they had to endure. I was intrigued to learn more about them and why they were treated as such. I was also very impressed by Jessica Mauboy and her amazing voice and acting skills she is a rockstar in Australia and I can see her star shinning brightly here. The cast was amazing and did a great job of telling the story of these four girls and their determination to live out their dreams. This film is definitely worth seeing when it hits theaters and definitely should be embraced by the black community.
The Sapphires gets a huge #WELIKE from Team SFPL!
Shoutout: 135th Agency/Saptosa/The Weinstein Company