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 film's North American DVD cover art caused considerable controversy and allegations of racism as the American poster shows Chris O'Dowd front and center with the Aboriginal girls as white silhouettes in the background, despite his smaller role in the film as a whole. See more »
Although the film is set in 1968, Dave plays a Fender Rhodes Stage electric piano, this particular model wasn't made until 1970. 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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Between the tribute and the end credits are period photos of the real Sapphires and a contemporary picture of the four women. See more »
The Australian version is slightly different (roughly 3 minutes longer) than the one shown in International Markets. It does not have a title card in the beginning of the movie explaining about the Aborigine people and that the film is based on a real story. On the other hand. several scenes are cut shorter by a few seconds in the International version, and the end title card is also different. While it describes in details what became of each character in real life, showing pictures of each of them individually, the Australian one briefly sums up their achievements as a whole. There's a final picture of the ladies as they look-like nowadays (shown in black and white in the International version and in color on the Australian one). See more »
My neighbour gave me her free tickets to see this film as she was unable to attend. I knew nothing at all about the film and went somewhat apprehensively. I needn't have worried however as it was a fantastic film.
It follows four young girls who leave their Aboriginal community in the hope of entertaining US troops in Vietnam and becoming big stars. That's all it does. The director doesn't try to overplay it and make it overly dramatic. Instead it feels somewhat like a documentary, with no clear path as to where it's going.
The actresses playing the four girls were superb, all being fantastic actresses who are believable in their work, but also incredible singers. Jessica Mauboy in particular was amazing and I honestly could have listened to them all night, no dialogue needed. Chris O'Dowd, the manager of the band, is funny while being endearing. The director subtly brought romance into the plot without taking anything away from the main story.
Racism was a key topic that was brought up regularly to show how Aboriginal people were treated in the community and all the characters have to deal with it in some form of another. Kay in particular has to decide between being a white or black girl. It also brings home how prevalent it was then with one white solider refusing to be treated by a black doctor. It was truly harrowing.
The film was shot wonderfully, with the Aboriginal community lit up in beautiful sunshine, while Vietnam scenes were kept bleak and grey.
A great film that I would watch again.
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