Winter weather kept us at home on New Years Eve, 2013. Our compensation was the discovery of this film. It opens in 1958 on an Aboriginal reserve.  A print legend establishes that until 1967 Aborigines were not considered human beings by the Australian government.

Initially, the story revolves around three sisters who have been singing together since early childhood. At odds over participation in a talent show in town, they lose the competition and leave in bitterness over the racism they face in their homeland. They form an alliance with a down-and-out DJ-piano player who persuades them he can mold them into a girl group to  rival the Supremes. Two of the sisters go to an affluent white household to retrieve the fourth sister, who is one of the Lost Generation.  The youngest sister is bitter for being left behind but she turns out to have the strongest voice and so joins the group.

The four of them plus their musical mentor travel on contract to Saigon, where they are received enthusiastically by the troops. They have their ups and downs both on the personal level and on the fringes of the war. This blend of personal history and current events comes to a climax in 1968. There is television footage of Bobby Kennedy announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King. Other newsreel clips add to the background of heightened wartime reality. It is a multicultural watershed. In the end, they return to their reserve as culture heroes. A print legend tells the real-life fate of each of the four girls up to the present. It begins amateurishly but progresses toward musical and emotional maturity to end as a powerful parable of its times and a turning point in human history. Maybe it was the moment, but I was stunned by this film.

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