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chapterposted on 14.02.2018, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth EllisonElizabeth Ellison
The Sapphires is an Indigenous Australian musical comedy. The movie could also be described as an international Indigenous film. By invoking the American struggle for racial equality in the late 1960s and through the use of famous African American music (such as ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ and ‘I Can’t Help Myself’), Wayne Blair has attempted to speak to an international audience. In so doing, Blair has created a universal story which does not silence or limit the presentation of specific Indigenous issues, such as the Stolen Generations, represented through the character of Kay. Similarly, setting the film during the Vietnam War (without representing it as a problematic period of American history) allows a reference point for Western audiences. This is aided by the filming of many scenes on location in Vietnam. Nevertheless, at the time of writing, the movie had received only a limited release in the United States, although the movie has earned almost US$17 million at the box-office in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.