Indigenous Soul: "The Sapphires" Journey from Stage to Screen

Zoe Wallin

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The energy is palpable. When the four members of 1960s Aboriginal Australian girl group The Sapphires step onto the stage of a Saigon nightclub in front of a crowd of expectant marines, they know the stakes: an unconvincing show will cost them their Vietnam gig and put them back on a plane to Australia. Before this, the four women - Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and Kay (Shari Sebbens) - have been told that they need to clean up their act for the show. Manager Dave Lovelace (Chris O'Dowd) has ushered them to various Vietnamese street vendors to purchase the sparkly new dresses that add the gloss necessary to meet international expectations. It's no surprise that The Sapphires pull it off, winning over their American audience with an intimate, soulful rendition of Dave Crawford's 'What a Man'.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationScreen Education
PublisherAustralian Teachers of Media
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Indigenous peoples
  • Musical groups
  • Screenwriters
  • Fiction films


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