Film/ director: Wayne Blair
Outback Australia in the late 1990’s, and Irish entertainer, Dave Lovelace is working in an old pub as an MC. A trio of Indigenous women sing country tunes in a pub competition to a room full of racist locals who don’t show any form of respect while the girls play. Seeing an advert for musicians needed to entertain the troops in Vietnam during the war, Dave Lovelace convinces The Sapphires to try out for the gig, their cousin from Melbourne joined them along the way, however, they have to sing soul music.
The film takes place in a time where many forms of prejudice, especially racial discrimination. In this case, the Aboriginal girls portrayed in the film are discriminated for being black by the white Australians. Luckily for the girls, they are seen as talented for Dave, the soldiers in Vietnam and other people outside Australia.
Racism is explored throughout the screenplay to demonstrate the struggles and issues relevant in this time period, through interactions between various characters. We see widely held opinions about Aboriginals throughout the film
The Sapphires is set in Cummeragunja, a mission settlement on the banks of the Murray River. This plays an important but complex role in the cultural identity on the Yorta Yorta people. Ever since the arrival of the first fleet in 1788, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been engaged in a struggle to assert their rights to the land they have initiated for generations prior to the European settlement. This connects to the rest of the world and Australia on what it was like for Aboriginal people back then. It is trying to re educate and remind us about how the Europeans stole their land, and how it was done through racism and segregation.
This film teaches us about the society we lived/live in, and how Aboriginal people had their rights striped away from them and how they got treated like animals. An example of this is when the girls went to go see their cousin to ask if she would sing with them, they knocked on the door and she was have a container meeting about how they should re use and recycle. She answered the door with a shock trying to hide the girls from the other white ladies in the room, as they would of judged. One of the ladies comes out and starts asking if the girls were harassing her and asking is she was okay.
This text connects to me because when I lived in Australia I would constantly see things on the news about Aborigines or Torres Strait islanders being singled out by the police or not getting the rights they deserve, children being bullied for being different, this is all still happening. This is why I would recommend the film so it can open peoples eyes, and so that we can make a difference and end racism.