The film The Sapphires is a true story about an Aboriginal girl band who sing for the soldiers stationed in Vietnam. I have always wanted to see this film and have actually heard of The Sapphires before but I never knew the history behind Australia’s native Aboriginal population. It is a horrid history to hear about how the fair-skinned children were taken away from their homes and families to institutions where they were passed off as white and were taught “white ways.” Each girl has their own strong personality that make the band successful and the story compelling. What started out as three girls singing country western music at a singing competition to earn a bit of cash ended up becoming four reunited girls coming together to bring hope and spirit to troops all over Vietnam. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Dave Lovelace is trying to convince the girls that they need to step away from country music and embrace the wonder that is soul music.
“Country 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’re just at home whining about it. In soul music, they’re struggling to get it back, and they haven’t given up, so every note that passes through your lips should have the tone of a woman who’s grasping and fighting and desperate to retrieve what’s been taken from her.”
When The Sapphires are singing to the troops they are bringing hope back into their lives. And when times are dark and fearful, their voices unite them and tell the troops that we are strong, we can’t let the evil in this world bring us down! That is what I loved about this film. Even when the environment was scary and they had no idea where they would be next or who they would be performing for, the girls always managed to come together in one way or another to lift the falling spirits.