.”I’ll have y’all know, that you’re standing on a Black Land”
This line, is spoken by a Black, fat girl, in front of a hostile whites, in a1968 Australian small town . The girl, along with her two sisters, display a beautiful harmonious song, earlieron we saw four girls, one of them Kay, is light skinned, singiung in their Aborigin Language, a hymn about the Israelites and Moses, defeating Pharroh. Back in 1968, the Merle Haggard Country, sung by the trio, won’t get them the 10$, coveted award, it will go to the white girl,who murdered The Seekers'”Ride to Morningtown”, by
this time Wayne Blair the dirctor, Tonny Briggs, whose mother Laurel was one of the original group(Julie the lead singer) the co-writer(Whose p 2004 play recountedf the bands’ story), and vet TV Writer Keith Thompson weave a tale as captivating, as annoyinbg, and as truly exhilirating story about identity lost and found, kinship with opressed minorities, and a redemption of one Dave Lovelace, a an over-the-hill promoter who re invents the group. It’s Lovelace(Briliantly played by Chris O’Dowd of”Bridesmaids” fame), who reinvents them and stirs them to the Soul music, as he aptly says:
Country and western music is about loss. Soul music is also about loss. But the difference is in country and western music, they’ve lost, they’ve given up and they are just all wining about it. In soul music they are struggling to get it back, they haven’t given up”.
And that in a nutshell, is what the movie is all about- the girls face adversariues, first among themselves, it’s Kay, the white skinned Aborigin, who has to overcome her racial surroundings, self-hatres, her cousin’s hostility, and finally able to say a line, which I deeply identify with:”I’m white on the outsiode, but black on the inside”.
Of course, it may interpert as a hypocritical statement, the girls accept it as such, but it doesn’t, far from it.
It is a genuine statement, I for one, as a Meditteranian, whose parents came from East Europe, and has a pink skin, identify with it. Because I was born Meditteranina, I feel and identify with the Mediterranina Culture and Society.
Kay who starts as a fake white selling kitchen appliances, goes the whole way, and finally in a moviung scene, she’s reconciled with
-her People The movie takes out to Vietnam, and it’s there, meeting African-
Americans, and witnessing first hand the horros of war(There’s a hospital scene, which the girls ,find it difficult to sing, and tears choke their voices), is also the land in which their musical, and racial identity will come full circle.
Avoiding mawkish schmalzy, fake up lifting feel good sentiments, Blair prsents us a film, realistically concieved, with a mute moral indignation, which dosen’t come blasting and makes the movie looks like a high school paper’s editorial, but rather present it as it is, and enhance our anger even better.
This is a movie for everyone who loves Soul, and for everyone who loves good storytelling at its best, run and see it.