London Film Festival 2012 – day five: The Sapphires
Thursday 18th October, 6:15pm – Hackney
In a small outback Aborigine community in the 1960s, three bickering sisters sing as a way of life. Despite being treated like scum by the local white townies, they enter a talent contest where they meet up with itinerant slacker Dave, played by Chris O’Dowd.
Feisty, troublesome and bursting with energy, the sisters have ambitions to hit the big-time. Dave brings out the sisters’ inner soul, while they give him a chance to make something of himself. Joined by their estranged white-looking cousin, the girls become The Sapphires, a quartet in the vein of The Supremes.
The big-time turns out to be a chance to tour for the American troops in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a madness of hedonistic chaos, and as The Sapphires hit their stride, they are forced to discover that nobody can escape the realities and dangers of being in the middle of a warzone.
Prejudice against the Australian Aborigines is a strain running through the film, and by the end we discover the terrible history that had caused a family rift. The plot seems contrived and unlikely, and so finding out that it is based on a true story proves once again that fact is more wonderful than fiction.
If you don’t find this film moving and life-affirming, and you don’t laugh and cry in the cinema, then you have a heart of stone and nothing can be done for you.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.
Watch the trailer for The Sapphires here: