Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Sapphires

OK, I've been M.I.A. It's not my fault, though!  I started a PhD program back in August! I've moved to a new state (I keep getting farther away from my home: the Northeast), and school has kept me busy, to say the least. In fact, I should be writing a paper right now. It's finals time. But, I did want to write about this movie I came across on Netflix over the weekend...

Have you all ever heard of the Australian 1960s R&B group, The Sapphires? Yeah, I hadn't either. This film is loosely based on a real group of aboriginal women who started a singing group, and traveled to Vietnam to perform for the troops during the war.
The movie Sapphires

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The group members are made up of three sisters and a cousin (I think you can tell who's who by the picture). While the sisters were raised in their rural aboriginal community, the fair-skinned cousin was stolen from the family by the Australian government, placed in a program in the city, and made to assimilate to White Australian culture (apparently the process of removing children who could "pass" for White, and placing them into assimilation process was common in the early 20th century in Australia).
Two things really stood out to me in this movie. First, it was interesting to see how similarly the indigenous Australians and minorities in America were treated during this era. At one point in the movie, the girls went to perform at a talent show, and although they did a great job, no one in the White audience (except one little boy) clapped when they were done. They also lived in a reservation-like community, similar to Native Americans. Clearly colonists executed similar strategies across continents (but we already knew that).
The Real Sapphires

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Secondly, the star of the movie is actually a real life pop star in Australia. I had never heard of her before the movie, but I definitely googled her afterwards. Jessica Mauboy was a runner up on Australian Idol in 2006, then released a solo album the following year. She's kind of a big deal out there, she's had several hit singles and top selling albums. I like her music too (now that I know about her)! And what a pretty girl (she looks West Indian, but I'm biased #WestIndianGirl haha. She's actually of Indigenous and Indonesian hertiage, according to Wikipedia) Check her out:
Anyway, I've got to get back to this paper. Signing off,