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Review of "THE SAPPHIRES"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2012-13
First published 20th October 2012 Revised: 21st August 2013
REVIEW: "THE SAPPHIRES" by Jayne Waterford

Wayne Blair's "THE SAPPHIRES" (2012) is one of most fabulously crafted films to come from a our shores. The acting was so moving, so gorgeous, singing was a bonus.

As a true story "THE SAPPHIRES" is a musical about a group of girls who scored a gig to travel to Vietnam to entertain the troups in the manner of The Supremes. As an audience we are treated not only to Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and Kay (the flirt) (Shari Sebbens) sing fabulous numbers on stage but we got to experience Gail (Deborah Mailman) falling in love with Dave Lovelace (Chris O'Dowd). I had the pleasaure of seeing Mailman as Cordellia, King Leer's youngest daughter in a Bell Shakespeare Company production, last century. Her characters always shimmer with the perfect weight to fill any reality they inhabit. We know Gail's in love because that is when she finds her voice. She's so there, so real, so brilliant. When Gail finds vulnerability she moves us.

Chris O'Dowd what can you say. He takes a man fully present to all opportunities and entertains us. I really hope it was a happy ending for Gail in real life.

These young women gave us people who revel in what

they do well. They're inspiring.

I'm going to buy this film and write a much more detailed review. It's so good. I think many people missed how good it is in all the hype. That's the cost of efffective marketing to specific demographics. When I'm done writing about this film, stockmen will be playing it to themselves to sleep at night. It'll be a story we live with.

As I've said before, Judith Lucy hasn't a mean bone in her body. She gives the impression she's ordering sandwiches when she's meant to be devastatingly hateful but maybe we're over that or maybe Wayne Blair should've given me the job. If anybody's looking for a horrible, white bitch in the future, ask me.

This film is moving and inspiring. It's heaps of fun. 10/10


Wayne Blair's "THE SAPPHIRES" (2012)
Follow your heart, discover your soul.
Release Date 9th August 2012
Category Musical Drama
Running Time 103 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
Rating PG
Origin Australia
Awards Official Selection - Out Of Competition - Cannes Film Festival 2012
Opening Night - Melbourne International Film Festival 2012
Director Wayne Blair
Produced by Rosemary Blight and Kylie Du Fresne
Screenplay by Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs
Stars Chris O'Dowd Deborah Mailman Jessica Mauboy Shari Sebbens Miranda Tapsell

Distributor Hopscotch Films

Official Blurb "1968 was the year the planet went haywire. All around the globe, there were riots and revolution in the streets. There were hard drugs, soft drugs, free love and psychedelic music. There was the shock of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations.

And dominating every other news story… There was Vietnam.

For four gorgeous young women from a remote Aboriginal mission, 1968 was the year that changed their lives forever. Sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia, together with their cousin Kay, are discovered by Dave, a down-on-his-luck Irish musician with attitude, a taste for Irish Whiskey and an ear for Soul Music. Dave steers the girls away from their Country & Western origins then flies them to the war-zones of South Vietnam, where they sing Soul Classics for the American Marines. On tour in the Mekong Delta, the girls sing up a storm, dodge bullets… And fall in love.

Inspired by a true story, "THE SAPPHIRES" is a triumphant celebration of youth, courage, love, family and Soul Music." - Hopscotch Films PR

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

"When I read this script I feel the energy and emotion pulsing in my veins.

The Sapphires are four black twenty-something women who for one brief period of time, have an opportunity to transcend beyond the circumstances they're born into and reach their full potential not only as musical talents but more so as human beings.

In Australia 1968, the racial divide was significant.

Aboriginal people had just got the right to vote. My own Nana died in 1966… she died in her own country classed as an outsider.

In our film, these outside girls match their talent with sheer will and through the eyes of an Irish man, and on the heartbeat of soul music, they get plucked from obscurity to sing for the soldiers in Vietnam. Through this chance of a lifetime they find themselves momentarily free.

Soul music is one of the defining elements in the project. My family grew up on the sounds of Aretha and
Marvin, Sly and the Family Stone. Yet the true power of this music is that all classes of people love this music. It is infectious.

It remains with you and becomes you.

"THE SAPPHIRES" is inspired by a true story, and it possesses all the qualities of ordinary people achieving amazing things in extraordinary circumstances. Four sexy, young, talented, black, strong women, make a decision and take a chance.

A chance my Nana never had, but through her tenacity and strength of character, now… I do."

Wayne Blair
Director


THE REAL SAPPHIRES

"THE SAPPHIRES" feature film is inspired by a true story, about four extraordinary Aboriginal women, sisters Laurel Robinson, Lois Peeler and their cousins Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers, Yorta Yorta women born along the Murray River, they were part of an extended family of brothers and sisters who regularly sang together during the 1960’s and

Sisters Laurel and Lois toured Vietnam in the late 1960’s singing to the American troops - an extraordinary achievement for two young Aboriginal women, considering that Aboriginal people had just received the right to vote.

All four women still live in Australia. Naomi Mayers has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service for 30 years. Beverly and Laurel have tirelessly worked by her side striving to improve the health of the Aboriginal community. Naomi received an Order of Australia Medal in 1984.

Lois Peeler became Australia's first Aboriginal model, is now the Executive Director of Worawa Aboriginal College, a secondary education facility for young Aboriginal Women, founded by one of her seven sisters

the late Hyllus Maris. Lois is also the former head of Aboriginal Tourism Australia.


'The Sapphires'
Premiere, State Theatre, Sydney.
(L-R) Laurel Robinson. Naomi Mayers, Lois Peeler, Beverly Briggs.