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The Sapphires
The Sapphires
Just as Japanese cinema was globally renowned in the 1950s only to subsequently fall into decline, Australian movies lauded across the world in the 1970s and 1980s can now no longer make much of an impact outside of their homeland.

Unlike the domestic Japanese market, however, which is of a scale large enough to support its own industry, the Australian domestic movie business is tiny. This ensures that short of making a hit of the likes of the initial Crocodile Dundee series entries, the Mad Max series or something akin to Happy Feet or Moulin Rouge, a general release Australian movie is almost destined to be more of a charitable enterprise than a business.
This applies even for movies rated highly domestically and overseas.
This year has seen a move that proves to be a case in point.
We’re referring to The Sapphires.

The movie based on a true story about a band referred to as Australia’s version of The Supremes is said to be an Australian-style Dreamgirls and was awarded and highly rated when shown at international festivals such as Cannes and, rare for an Aussie movie these days, even sold overseas.
The movie featured Jessica Mauboy, one of Australia’s best-known indigenous singers, as part of a tremendous cast who worked to tell the fascinating tale of a group of indigenous women plucked from a reserve to form a band that became something of an international sensation at a time when it was still common for them to encounter discrimination in their homeland still deeply influenced by the White Australia Policy, the Stolen Generations and other aspects of its racist past.

But, The Sapphires flopped at the box office internationally, starting with failures in its first overseas markets in France and Britain.
And it’s not even planned for release in Japan.