1968 was the year that changed the world. And for four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote mission this is the year that would change their lives forever. Around the globe, there was protest and revolution in the streets. Indigenous Australians finally secured the right to vote. There were drugs and the shock of a brutal assassination. And there was Vietnam. The sisters, Cynthia, Gail, Julie and Kay are discovered by Dave, a talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great knowledge of soul music. Billed as Australia's answer to 'The Supremes', Dave secures the sisters their first true gig, and flies them to Vietnam to sing for the American troops. Based on a true story, THE SAPPHIRES is a triumphant celebration of youthful emotion, family and music. Written by
The song that the girls sing as children, and that is repeated throughout the film, was originally a gospel hymn about Moses that has been translated into the Yorta Yorta language. See more »
When in Vietnam the girls sing into a Shure Beta 58 microphone, easily spotted by the blue ring around the head of the microphone. The 58a wasn't in use until around 1996. See more »
Before we go than, girls when I met you you were doing all country and western thing and that's fine we all make mistakes. But here is what we learn from that mistake. Country and western music is about loss. Soul music is also about loss. But the difference is in country and western music, they've lost, they've given up and they are just all wining about it. In soul music they are struggling to get it back, they haven't given up.
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It's easy to be cynical about this film -- yes the plot is a little clunky and some of the lines are cheesy. But it is a hugely enjoyable movie, with lots of good points. The four girl actors are all great and they don't over-play their parts. When the girls arrive in Vietnam you get a sense of how very young and wide-eyed they are, despite their wisecracks. Chris O'Dowd as the Irish manager is hilarious, although he doesn't venture far from his character on Bridesmaids, or TV's IT Crowd -- that is, the bumbling but endearing Irish sweetie. The music and costumes are fantastic and the cinematography is lovely. I loved how Aborigines were portrayed as being strong and loving, and how many Aborigines have white as well as black blood, and struggle to straddle both cultures. The film provides a slightly sanitised, but still worthwhile, picture of an interesting time in Australian, and world, history.
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