The Sapphires!


The first connection that I had with this movie was the mistreatment that the Aboriginals had to deal with on their own land. The impacts of colonization is still being felt within the Aboriginal community in Australia, as well as, around the world. We have seen colonization impacts in other movies, such as Whale Rider and Rabbit Proof Fence that are very similar to the Sapphires. While in Whale Rider, the impacts may not seem as obvious as it does in Rabbit Proof Fence and Sapphires, it is there none the less. The American Indians and African Americans are also groups of people that have suffered from colonization. However, while it is true that they all suffer mistreatment, it is also true that they all fight back in different ways in order to reclaim and preserve their cultures and identities. This is what I believe makes them all powerful. In each film that we have seen, all the main characters fight against what others try to force them to do. Pai fights the mold that her grandfather believes she has to be in in Whale Rider. Molly and Gracie escape what their conquers try to force them to become in Rabbit Proof Fence and the Sapphires reclaim their cousin back when they bond in Vietnam. These ordeals create a positive influence for others in colonized communities, and makes it possible to believe that one day the people may one day no longer suffer racism and mistreatment.

I know that I feel most connected with Kay, who is the light skinned cousin, because she was part of the “Stolen Generation” in Australia and suffers with her identity until she is confronted by her cousin Gail in Vietnam. She is seen as white because of her skin tone so she does not have to suffer bigotry like her cousins do. However, Gail confronts her on “pretending” to be black while singing with the group. Kay is stuck between two worlds, but she identifies with her black side and in the end is accepted back into her family and finds peace with herself and her family.  While growing up, I know that I was picked on by people when they found out I identified as American Indian even though I looked white. When I moved back onto the reservation, I thought I would be accepted, but people continued to bully me because I was not raised on the reservation and didn’t look like what an “American Indian” was suppose to look like. To this day, I still do not understand what the bullies thinking were when they picked on me. What could they have possibly have gained from hurting a little girl and causing her emotional pain and identify issues? I will never have an answer, but I am fine with that because I am proud of who I am now.

So many issues in this post, so I would like to end on a good note. I absolutely LOVED the music in this movie. I was raised around so many family members playing music around me, especially my dad. He plays so many instruments and he even sings. I love when he sings to me because it just fills my entire body with warmth. This is what the music in Sapphires did for me. Every time the girls would sing a song I would sway and hum with them. I even replayed their music on Youtube! This is probably my favorite movie so far this semester.

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