The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe begins with a close-up of a soulful-looking African woman in a pink singlet. She’s in front of a blue projected background simulating rain, touching her face. Her eyes are closed and her hands are wet. Small streaks of water trickle down her arms as her voiceover begins: “I love my neck … ”
Whatever beauty that moment has turns devastating in a heartbeat. As a deep, slow, operatic song plays on the soundtrack, matched to images of other women’s faces and hands, the narrator completes her sentence: “because it was never touched.”
Director Ros Horin’s documentary is a behind-the-scenes account of the titular stage production and the remarkable people at its core. Arriving in cinemas this week after making the rounds at the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals, the film’s champions include veteran film-makers Gillian Armstrong (“emotional and uplifting”) and George Miller (“remarkable and unforgettable”).
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