April 16, 2013

Giving Us Hope: “The Sapphires”

With another tragedy hanging over us, I have decided to break with tradition and not blog about community news. Rather, I want to focus on the positive. One of my favorite movies of all-time. Based on a true story, “The Sapphires” has it all. Set in 1968, four musically talented Australian Aboriginal women overcome the odds and get picked to entertain the troops in Vietnam. Like the new Jackie Robinson movie, overcoming racial prejudice makes for a powerful movie. [Did you know that light-skinned Aboriginal children were stolen from their parents and institutionalized or taught “white ways”? Known as the “Stolen Generation.”]

But that is just the backdrop. The real power of this movie is the relationships between the four women – and with their flawed Irish manager. The war setting then adds another dimension. And finally, the singing. I’m not one to see a movie for the music, but the women in this movie are unbelievable – and they sing the best of ’60s soul music. Their version of “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” is the best. Jessica Mauboy is a modern day Diana Ross.

My wife and I left the movie both wondering the same thing. Should we go back in and watch it a second time in a row? I haven’t had that feeling since I was a kid. It’s in limited release and hopefully playing near you. Here is group of clips showing the songs they sing:

– Broc Romanek