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5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want To Check Out (10/29/13)

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 29, 2013 7:00 PM
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The Sapphires

2 - The 

Australian musical drama titled The Sapphires, which is inspired by the real-life story of a soul singing quartet comprised of 4 Aborigine women (all sisters), branded as Australia’s answer to The Supremes.

Directed by Wayne Blair, the film's full synopsis reads:

1968 was the year the planet went haywire. All around the globe, there were riots and revolution in the streets. There were hard drugs, soft drugs, free love and psychedelic music. There was the shock of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations. And dominating every other news story… There was Vietnam. For four gorgeous young women from a remote Aboriginal mission, 1968 was the year that changed their lives forever. Sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia, together with their cousin Kay, are discovered by Dave, a down-on-his-luck Irish musician with attitude, a taste for Irish Whiskey and an ear for Soul Music. Dave steers the girls away from their Country & Western origins then flies them to the war-zones of South Vietnam, where they sing Soul Classics for the American Marines. On tour in the Mekong Delta, the girls sing up a storm, dodge bullets… And fall in love.

The "feel-good" movie tells a story that's undeniable familiar, even if specifics might differ - the evolution, lives, loves, ups and downs of a soul-singing group made up of young black women in the 1960s/1970s and the manipulative people around them. Comparisons to films like Dreamgirls, and Sparkle abound.

The Sapphires stars Chris O’Dowd, Aboriginal actress Deborah Mailman, pop singer Jessica MauboyShari SebbensMiranda Tapsell, and Tory Kittles.

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  • Geneva Girl | October 31, 2013 7:58 AMReply

    I just streamed The Sapphires thanks to your earlier recommendation. I appreciate these lists because I get onto Netflix and can't think of what to watch. I'm keeping a list now and checking them off.

    I do, however, watch more films on Amazon. It just seems easier.

    Thanks of the lists and keep 'em coming!

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 12:32 PMReply

    I live in the cornfields of a sea of whiteness, needless to say, movies starring people of color seldom come my way. Consequently, the opportunity to view "black" films is why I purchased Netflix. And, Tambay's suggestions have been well worth Netflix's asking price of $6.99. So thanks Tambay, my world... my movie viewing experience would not be as pleasurable without you in it.

    Having said that, there have been some films (that have been suggested) that I just can't do or haven't been able sit through. Specifically, those that are spoken in a forein (to me) language.

    Having said that, I do however have my eye on a movie titled "Tsoti". I don't know if that has been suggested, but the actors are Africans (I believe) and they're speaking a broken English with subtitles added.

    Speaking of suggestions, I am going to encroach on Tambay's post by adding what I'll call CareyCarey's corner.

    Okay, since this is a black blog which highlights movies of the African Diaspora, I have too thread lightly. I mean, although the two films I am going to suggest would not be considered "black" films, people of color are front and center (to a degree).

    Now mind you, these movie fit my groove zone... I love dramas, thrillers, mysteries and "talkies" (lots of thought provoking dialog).

    First up is House of the Spirit (1993). This movie is set in South America, hence, people of color. But here's the first rub. It's stars actors who are not people of color but we are given the impression they are native South Americans. Now I don't know the history Latin American countries, but it's safe to say Eropeans were somewhere in the mix. But again, in this film, the actors may have been wearing makeup that gave the indication that they were native to that country.

    Anyway, this movie had an outstanding cast of Oscar winning actors... Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. The supporting cast included Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas and Vanessa Redgrave. Come on now, that cast has the makings of something great... and in my opinion, it was a fantastic movie. Forbidden love, adultery, bastard children, politics, forced labor, mournful deaths, spirits, power, greed & corruption was all there -- on a large plantation in South America.

    Next... Arbitrage (2012). Wait now, I know some of you may know that is not a black film (by any stretch of imagination), but who knew (or knows) Nate Parker plays a key role? Listen, I won't go into great details but it's a tight suspense and Mr. Parker is in the center of the mix... and he does an admirable job.

    Both movies are presently on Netflix.

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 10:48 PM

    Thanks JMac, I'll keep that in mind when or if I decide to watch Tsoti.

    Reference House of the Spirit, yeah, I thought about whites playing those roles, but I just looked at it as how I look at White South Africans. I mean, like I said, I've never studied South American History, so it was easy for me to believe white folks, to some degree, were in power position all around the world.

    Hey, did you see the film? Once I got by the "heritage" issue (put it on the back burner) I thought the film was very well acted... and very intriguing. Some of the scenes forced my eyes wide open as I looked at my lady with a look of "Can you believe what just happened?". How about that scene leading up to and including Jeremy Irons slapping his wife (Glenn Close) down to the ground? When she got up I said "UT OH, sh*t is about to break loose up in here". Well, we know what she did... but we can't tell nobody.

    I don't do Shonda Rhimes. But I understand where you coming from.

  • JMac | October 30, 2013 10:09 PM

    Tsotsi is a good film but it falls in the category of movies like Fresh where the story/screenplay is written by a white guy although most of the characters particularly the main characters are black. Lately I am torn on whether I should encourage and laud these types of films when, more likely than not, if the screenwriter was black the film probably would not have been made or received the same resources. Similar issue with House of Spirits - how on earth you can make a movie about a prominent Chilean family and yet the only Latino is Antonio Banderas (and he plays such a small role)? I don't expect the characters to look mixed but at least get actors with reasonably acceptable accents. Although I am not a fan of Shonda Rhimes, I am now really interested in seeing her show centering around a young white teenager. Better yet, I can't wait to see a film of George Washington and the fight for American independence written by a black screenwriter where all the main characters including the title character are black.

  • Frank Lee | October 30, 2013 12:03 PMReply

    Your '5 Netflix' lists are the nicest. It is IndieWire's easily most digestible article for a casual reader and film fan like me.
    On that note, IndieWire's search function is not very good. It is difficult to find your previously published lists. The article tagging seems to be broken and useless.
    After some successful results with this search -"5+netflix" , but it would be most helpful if the default sort was set on 'Most Recent'
    Anyway just techy-food for thought to pass on to your geeks dept. ;-)
    Keep 'em coming though!

  • Phred G | October 30, 2013 11:03 PM

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU CareyCarey! I got a Netflix sub as a birthday gift so NOW I can go back and start a'viewin' the goods.

  • CareyCarey | October 30, 2013 1:18 PM

    Frank, it's true and most will agree, IndieWire's search function is a funny thang. Like most search engines it seems to target key words. In this case, the key word is Netflix.

    However, there is a way to narrow your search. Well, more specially, if you look at the title of this post, what word or words would separate it from "Netflix", yet still get results you're looking for?

    Granted, that's easier said than done. But it does help - a little.

    Here they are-->"You May Not Know Are Available" . If one drops those words in the search box, all of S&A's previous Netflix posts will be listed first.

    Again, having cussed out IndieWire's search engine (with no positive results) I 've found it wise to drop in words that are specific only to the post you're looking for.

  • Frank Lee | October 30, 2013 12:05 PM"5+netflix"

  • DP | October 30, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    This is my favorite article. keep them coming

  • Val | October 29, 2013 10:14 PMReply


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