Monday, August 5, 2013

The Sapphires Is Not About a White Guy

The Sapphires is a 2012 film made by Goalpost Pictures and distributed by Hopscotch Films in Australia. It is based on a play produced in 2004. It is about four indigenous women who formed a singing group and toured Vietnam in 1968. Now the DVD is being released in the US, distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment. You can find it on iTunes. I'm not going to post the Anchor Bay DVD cover here because it makes me crazy mad to look at it. Instead of the 4 women of color that the movie is about (as beautifully shown in the Goalpost poster here), the Anchor Bay cover features Chris O'Dowd who plays the manager of the group front and center. In the back under a blue screen are the women, whitened and obscured for the American audience. So far, I've tweeted a couple of times about this, written to Anchor Bay and outed The Weinstein Company, which owns 25% of Starz Media - Anchor Bay's parent company.  Some of us have been eager for the DVD release. This is a movie about women - about women of color. We need this movie. What we don't need is a bunch of white boys deciding what the image for America needs to be. Sexist, racist, maddening, infuriating - I'm exhausted from the anger. The American entertainment industry is a cesspool of misogyny, and I can no longer accept that this is normal, and that this is the way entertainment will continue. Whitewashing women. Disappearing women. What can we all do to encourage women filmmakers, discourage Hollywood from their anti-women practices, and bring some measure of equity to the industry? Keep shouting foul when foul is delivered. I won't buy this film until the cover is changed. I won't buy anything distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment until the cover is changed. Or Starz Media, or - I am unhappy to write - from The Weinstein Company. 25% complicit is too much. I'm out 100% until this nonsense is corrected.

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