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The Sapphires (2012)

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It's 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.

Director:

Wayne Blair
27 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tanika Lonesborough Tanika Lonesborough ... Young Gail
Nioka Brennan Nioka Brennan ... Young Kay
Lynette Narkle Lynette Narkle ... Nanny Theresa
Kylie Belling Kylie Belling ... Geraldine
Tammy Anderson Tammy Anderson ... Evelyn
Miah Madden ... Young Julie
Ava Jean Miller-Porter Ava Jean Miller-Porter ... Young Cynthia
Carlin Briggs Carlin Briggs ... Young Jimmy
Gregory J. Fryer Gregory J. Fryer ... Selwyn
Miranda Tapsell ... Cynthia
Deborah Mailman ... Gail
Jessica Mauboy ... Julie
Koby Murray Koby Murray ... Baby Hartley
Hunter Page-Lochard ... Stevie Kayne
Chris O'Dowd ... Dave Lovelace
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Storyline

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 Goalpost Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Follow your heart. Discover your soul. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Aboriginal

Release Date:

9 August 2012 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Saphirs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,372, 24 March 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,448,455, 21 July 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Goalpost Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where it received a 10 minute standing ovation. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1968. During the card game, more modern American currency (from the late 1990s) can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Dave: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Between the tribute and the end credits are period photos of the real Sapphires and a contemporary picture of the four women. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #10.1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

People Make the World a Better Place
Composed by Jean Reynolds
Copyright 1971 Dynastone Publishing Company
By kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd
Performed by Juanita Tippins
Backing Vocals by Jessica Mauboy, Jade MacRae, Prinnie Stevens
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User Reviews

 
An Australian gem
15 June 2012 | by RHewisonSee all my reviews

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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