Rabbit Proof Fence is an experience that will stay with me for a long time.
During the Early 1900's the Australian government formed an organization that could declare parental rights over "Caste" aboriginal children. Their goal, a three generational breed-out of these lighter skinned children. In short, if they marry caucasions, and their own children do so, their grandchildren would be white. This would obliterate their race, a chilling notion that we have seen many times in history.
After scanning reviews for Rabbit Proof Fence, I found that Roger Ebert actually wept at the end of the film. It is definately moving, and the fact that he wept shouldn't necessarily make you conclude its a sad film. Despite the subject matter, the end result is an overwhelming story of strong will, and persistance. Also, its appropriate for the entire family, something hard to find nowadays.
We've been trying to see this film for a while now, after having missed it in the theater. I was interested because it had a score by Peter Gabriel, who has great taste for movies with which to lend his efforts (e.g., Birdy, The Last Tempation of Christ). It also had Kenneth Branagh in it, whom I don't follow as much as I used to given his recent track record, but when he's good, he's very good. And in this movie, playing the part of Mr. Neville, the "Aborigine Protector" of Australia for 25 years, … more
RABBIT PROOF FENCE illustrates a piece of Australian history that I, as an American, knew nothing about. From 1931 to 1970, the aborigines were under the "guardianship" of a British bureaucrat, with the particular idea of separating "half-caste" aborigines from their full-blooded parents and putting them in a home so they could learn how to be servants and low-wage employees.We follow three girls (aged 8-14) who are separated from their homes and placed in this camp some 1200 miles away. Molly, … more
Director Phillip Noyce has succeeded in creating a cinematic version of the true book about the 'racial cleansing' of the Australian Aborigines that took part in the first half of the 20th Century. The Australian government subsidized campsites to where half caste Aboriginal girls would be sent to breed with white men and thus diminish the ethnic qualities of the 'backward natives'. In three genrations the half castes could produce dilution of the 'blackness' of their people by creating half castes … more
Based on a true story,Rabbit-Proof Fencemoves with dignified grace from its joyful opening scenes to a conclusion that's moving beyond words. The title refers to a 1,500-mile fence separating outback desert from the farmlands of Western Australia. It is here, in 1931, that three aboriginal girls are separated from their mothers and transported to a distant training school, where they are prepared for assimilation into white society by a racist government policy. Gracie, Daisy, and Molly belong to Australia's "stolen generations," and this riveting film (based on the book by Molly's daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara) follows their escape and tenacious journey homeward, while a stubborn policy enforcer (Kenneth Branagh) demands their recapture. Director Phillip Noyce chronicles their ordeal with gentle compassion, guiding his untrained, aboriginal child actors with a keen eye for meaningful expressions. Their performances evoke powerful emotions (subtly enhanced by Peter Gabriel's excellent score), illuminating a shameful chapter of Australian history while conveying our universal need for a true and proper home.--Jeff Shannon