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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 »
The movie is set in 1968, but The Sapphires sing The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" (released in 1972) and Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" (released in 1970). It also features "Run Through the Jungle" (released in 1970) in the opening scene. 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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I've just seen a screening of The Sapphires and have to say that it's one of the best mainstream films I've seen in a long time. It was exhilarating: making me cry, laugh and want to dance. Over the years, there have been some amazing films of and about Aboriginal Australia. One of the very best being Warwick Thornton's heart breaking Sampson And Delilah. Some people will belittle The Sapphires for not being similarly heavy but this film is not that film. This film, with it's Aboriginal writer and director (and cast, cinematographer (the wonderfully talented Warwick Thornton) and choreographer) is another film. It is a celebration of spiritedness and strength, lovingly made and deftly told. It left me with vivid impressions of the lives of the characters and of Australia at that time. Tremendous chemistry between Chris O'Dowd and Deborah Mailman and the rest of the cast drew me in and up, as did the spine tinglingly good soul singing from Jessica Mauboy. Newcomers Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell were great too. I can't believe that this was Wayne Blair's first feature. Good on you Goalpost for bringing an important script to (hopefully) a wide audience and doing it with such flair.
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