Deborah Mailman in The Sapphires: Yellow bird
This early scene in The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, 2012), introduces us to 3 of the main characters in the film – Gail (Deborah Mailman), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and Julie (Jessica Mauboy), three talented Aboriginal sisters who live in a rural town and sing in a girl group.
The scene establishes Gail as the big sister who takes charge of things, Cynthia as the wild one and Julie as the major talent destined for great things. It also features Kylie Belling as their mother, Geraldine.
The Sapphires is based on the 2004 stage play of the same name by actor, writer and producer Tony Briggs, that tells the true story of 4 young Aboriginal women who travel to Vietnam during the war in the late 1960s to entertain the troops.
Briggs’ mother and aunt were both members of the original Sapphires and, after the stage show was a hit, he adapted the story into an award-winning feature film that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.
Mailman also starred as Cynthia in the original stage production of The Sapphires at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney, 2005.