POSTED April 6 2013

“The Sapphires” sparkles

The SapphiresA distant cousin of The Commitments, the 1991 movie about scrappy, underemployed Dubliners who form a soul band, The Sapphires is a charmer about scrappy, underemployed Aboriginals in the 1960s who form a soul quartet and are hired to entertain soldiers in Vietnam.

Based on a true story, the artless and enjoyable film trades in a basic musical truth: that country music — which the girls sing before their encounter with Dave, a strange, rangy agent played by Chris O’Dowd — is about wallowing in misery and soul music is about transcending it. As Dave explains: “Country and western music is about loss. Soul music is also about loss. Difference is,  is in country music, they’ve lost, they’ve given up and they are just all whining about it. In soul music they are struggling to get it back, they haven’t given up.”

The “girls” — led by Deborah Mailman and Jessica Mauboy — stand and deliver songs like “What a Man” and “I Can’t Help Myself” and are a treat. Likewise Wayne Blair’s film. Its implication is that  R & B is the original world music. And it takes you higher.


  1. Absolutely written written content, Really enjoyed reading through.

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