Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Sapphires - Resources and Thoughts

This is the second year I've taught the film 'The Sapphires' which is directed by Wayne Blair and although I'm still figuring out the best way to teach it - I think I've taught it differently with this class mainly because we didn't do Jasper Jones to begin with... so in a way I didn't focus too much on the historicality of the film straight off as I did last year. Also - this class is different in the makeup of the personalities

'The Sapphires' deals with themes of entrenched racism, search for identity and above all else the fight for equality - although it isn't as obvious as some of the other themes. It is easily one of my top five films to teach in year 12 and is an easy link for students to make between the Yorta Yorta and Maori and the treatment of indigenous peoples.

This year - I've focussed on my students connecting with the characters first and foremost. The booklet I created last year with a selection of reviews, worksheets I'd found and made and background history and info from the play writers perspective as well as the original sisters.

At the moment we are watching 'The Sapphires' the second time through and they're collecting quotes for each character. Last year I didn't do that and we struggled as a class. We'd sorted out the film techniques and analysis and then tried to figure out quotes. This way this year will be easier.

For some reason the DVD isn't working - something about the region.. will have to get another copy.

Just finished showing them a segment from the Stolen Generations Testimonies website and hopefully they'll go on it tonight to get a deeper understanding about the lives the aboriginal peoples faced and as a result be able to connect and relate with the main themes of the movie.

When I figure out how to use the new printers our school has just rolled out this past week - I'll scan the booklet I've created and upload it here as a PDF so you can see it/use it if you'd like :)

Questions from my students today:
- What does Cummergunja mean?

For my students and anyone else interested...


A basic but in-depth overview of the Stolen Generations from Wikipedia
The issue of Miscengenation - Mixed Race - again from Wikipedia
Journal Article on the Stolen GenerationsRobert van Krieken with Robyn Arrowsmith, The stolen generations: implications for Australian civilization, citizenship and governance 
Journal Article on 'Whiteness' - Jan Larbalestier, White Over Black: Discourses of Whiteness in Australian Culture
Stolen Generation Testimony - Bruce Trevorrow
The use of Eucalyptus leaves by the Grandmother and Kay in the Cleansing Ceremony
Bring them Home - Oral Histories of Stolen Generation Testimonies
Bring them Home - Apology by the Australian Government 
Bring them Home - Stolen Children Report - 1997

A basic but in-depth overview of the Vietnamese War from Wikipedia

A basic but in-depth overview of the African-American Civil Rights Movement from Wikipedia

Further viewing:
Australia - directed by Baz Luhrmann (2008)
Rabbit Proof Fence - directed by Phillip Noyce (2002)
Walkabout - directed by Nicholas Roeg (1971)
First Australians (documentary) - produced by Blackfella Films (2008)
Ten Great Aboriginal Films - With Trailers!
A List of Aboriginal Films