A Theme of Truth in "The Sapphires" and "Beautiful Boy"

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 816 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Words: 816|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Manipulating Truth in "The Sapphires"
  3. Perspectives and Truth in "Beautiful Boy"
  4. Conclusion
  5. References


Truth, often defined as the real facts about a situation, event, or person, is a concept that appears straightforward. However, in reality, truth is far from being an objective and universally agreed-upon concept. It is often shaped and manipulated by individual perspectives and experiences. The philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." This quote encapsulates the idea that truth is inherently subjective and can vary from one person to another. This essay explores how the representation of truth can be influenced by different perspectives and techniques, using the examples of the film "The Sapphires" and the novel "Beautiful Boy."

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Manipulating Truth in "The Sapphires"

"The Sapphires," a 2012 film, portrays the true story of four young Aboriginal girls during the Vietnam War in 1968. While the film is based on real events, it does not necessarily present an unaltered truth. Instead, it is filtered through the lens of director Wayne Blair, who shapes the narrative to engage and entertain the audience.

The film addresses critical themes such as racism, identity, and survival. However, even though it draws from historical facts, it employs various techniques to manipulate the truth. For instance, Blair introduces a romantic and comedic storyline to add depth and entertainment value to the narrative. Additionally, the film includes scenes where the girls find themselves in the middle of an active battle zone. This dramatic portrayal of danger and courage deviates from the reality of the girls' experiences.

Blair also incorporates real videos and photos from the era, including the death of Martin Luther King, to draw a parallel between the Indigenous Australian experience and the African-American experience. This serves to not only engage Australian audiences but also resonate with American viewers. The film employs cinematographic techniques such as close-up shots and the use of sound to enhance the emotional impact. Diegetic sounds, particularly during the girls' singing scenes, help create a more captivating and immersive experience for the audience.

In summary, while "The Sapphires" is grounded in a true story, it does not present an unadulterated truth. Instead, it employs various techniques and perspectives to heighten the stakes and engage the audience, emphasizing that truth in narrative representation is subjective.

Perspectives and Truth in "Beautiful Boy"

The novel "Beautiful Boy" offers another perspective on the subjectivity of truth. Written by David Sheff, the book recounts his experience as the father of Nic Sheff, who struggles with methamphetamine addiction. David's narrative represents his own truth, shaped by his perspective as a father trying to support his son through addiction.

David Sheff's perspective on the truth is that of a concerned and loving father. He employs various techniques to convey his truth to the readers effectively. One of the most prominent techniques is telling the story from a first-person perspective, using personal pronouns like "I" and "me." This narrative choice allows readers to empathize with David and understand the depth of his emotions as he grapples with his son's addiction.

David also includes personal anecdotes from his own youth when he experimented with drugs. By sharing these experiences, he provides context for his understanding of addiction and how it can affect individuals and families. This technique helps readers see the world through his eyes and understand his perspective.

Furthermore, David Sheff supports his truth by incorporating facts, statistics, and quotes from scientists to emphasize the dangers of drug abuse. This approach reinforces his perspective on the devastating impact of addiction, providing a strong foundation for his narrative.

In "Beautiful Boy," the subjectivity of truth is evident through the varying perspectives of individuals involved. While David Sheff's truth is that of a father struggling to support his son through addiction, Nic Sheff, the person facing addiction, likely has a different perspective on the same events. This disparity underscores the idea that truth is shaped by individual experiences and viewpoints.

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In conclusion, the representation of truth in narrative is a complex and multifaceted endeavor. "The Sapphires" and "Beautiful Boy" illustrate how different perspectives and techniques can shape and manipulate the truth presented to the audience. These works remind us that truth is not an absolute concept but rather a subjective and multifarious one. As Marcus Aurelius wisely noted, everything we hear and see is filtered through the lens of opinion and perspective, highlighting the intricate nature of truth in storytelling.


  1. Aurelius, M. (2006). Meditations. Oxford University Press.
  2. Blair, W. (Director), & Briggs, T. (Writer). (2012). The Sapphires [Film]. Goalpost Pictures.
  3. Sheff, D. (2008). Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  4. Decker, R. L. (2012). Cinema as therapy: Grief and transformational film experiences. Omega-Journal of Death and Dying, 66(3), 189-207.
  5. Marks, R. (2000). Fictions of truth: Narrative and the representation of addiction. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 74(3), 443-458.
  6. Roberts, A. (2004). Perspectives on Narrative: An Interdisciplinary Symposium. Storytelling, Self, Society, 1(2), 147-150.
  7. Ricoeur, P. (1980). Narrative time. Critical Inquiry, 7(1), 169-190.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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A Theme Of Truth In “The Sapphires” And “Beautiful Boy”. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from
“A Theme Of Truth In “The Sapphires” And “Beautiful Boy”.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
A Theme Of Truth In “The Sapphires” And “Beautiful Boy”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Feb. 2024].
A Theme Of Truth In “The Sapphires” And “Beautiful Boy” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 10 [cited 2024 Feb 28]. Available from:
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