Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Sapphires: Movie Review

A fascinating look at a singing group in the year the world changed.

“The Sapphires” is a look at Australia, and the world, in 1968. For those unaware of Australia’s recent history, it is a fascinating look. Australia's history is told alongside history that more of the world is familiar with: assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the on-going war in Vietnam. With all of that unfolding, 4 Aboriginal girls formed The Sapphires, and we get a triumphant rise of their musical career.   2012

Directed by: Wayne Blair

Screenplay by: Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson

Starring: Chris O'Dowd

The Whites didn’t let the Aboriginals into their world, and the movie gives an inside glance into the racism and prejudice and group of people who were still going to try and change their own world. This movie is specifically about a singing group of four aboriginal sisters, who just wanted to sing.

Success for them is hard to come by in Australia, but they meet up with a manager. Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd) is a talent scout who is working himself out of business with his penchant for alcohol. But the girls have no one else to help them. O’Dowd provides the film with all of the humour in an otherwise serious drama. He helps the girls with his quick wit and passion for music and the film uses him to the best of his abilities.

It has been said that 1968 was the year the world changed. And the film provides a very interesting point-of-view to that. In Australia, in the United States, and in Vietnam. It's an Australian movie and very accurately captures a world-view of racism that was happening everywhere and speaks to a world wide audience.

Dave can secure the girls a tour in Vietnam performing for the troops. So they are off to the middle of a war-torn country seeking success and solace. That juxtaposition just adds a very interesting and touching element in a film that balances the humour of an alcoholic manager keeping the egos of four wannabe stars in check with the drama of lives literally falling all around them.

There is love lost, love found, scenes of war, tears flowing, sister-hood coming together, and there's music. Overall the story of The Sapphires, Australia’s answer to The Supremes, is a happy and uplifting one. They face their fair share of hardships and dramatic upheavals, but if they can just sing, then a better Australia should be waiting for them.
Best of 2013