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Three mixed-race Australian girls, having been taken from their Aboriginal families, escape and return home on foot, without supplies or gear, while trying to evade recapture.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 25-JAN-2005
Media Type: DVD
Based on a true story, Rabbit-Proof Fence moves 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
- The Injustice of the White Race
This story depicts the wickedness, I mean outright meaness of the white race. Be it blacks, coloured, chinese or even fellow whites, this wickedness have been told generation upon generation. I thought I had seen it all. It is unfathomable how wickedness could be perpetrated to such a degree and yet those committing these outrageous acts could sleep. I cried when this film ended and my wife had to comfort me.
This is a story of courage and resourcefulness of 3 young girls, determined to live their aboriginal ways and not the ways of the white man. It is a story of racism, cruelty and injustice. But the story goes to show that the human spirit despite untold hardship will overcome any obstacles thrown its way. I believe there were many worse situations committed in times past and the stories have started emerging gradually. I commend and salute the writer Doris Pilkington (Garimara) for bringing the story to light....more info
- This is an excellent film!
I looked at this film about a year ago and recommended it to alot of my friends and they all felt, me included that it was an excellent film.
Not only was it captivating, but it was also very touching as well as educational. The journey the girls had to endure, the scenery and the interview at the end gave credibility to this story.
This is a must see for students studing civil liberties in high school and college.
Upon reading another review, it was mentioned that the story was not true and aborigines were not forced into these racists camps but they went voluntarily and the story is a fabrication. The reviewer went so far as to post a website source written by none other - Andrew Bolt - of the Herald Sun which by the way is a subsidiary of Fox News Corp. This webiste offers a very critical view of the movie as being a fake but it is just an opinion. If you're looking for facts, go to the australian government website and do your own research.
Like I mentioned previously, it's an excellent film and I highly recommend it.
- One of the best movies I've seen
Provides insight to a different era in Australia and a view into aboriginal culture. An inspiring film that showcases how hope and determination can lead to amazing accomplishments. ...more info
- Compelling Tale of Racial Caste System in Australia
Based on a real story of three half-white, half-Aborigine girls who were legally kidnapped and torn from their mothers in a small Australian village, Rabbit Proof Fence is a compelling, never sentimental, fast-paced account of an odious racial "purification" program exercised in Australia from early 1900 to 1970, giving these poor children the tag "The Lost Generations." Mostly these poor children were kept in camps where they were to be, ostensibly, taught in the ways of Australian white middle-class society so that, after three generations, their "blackness" would disappear. But in truth these children were really trained to be domestics or slaves for white land owners. In the film, we get to know the three girls and find that the oldest, Molly, is very street smart and perceives that the camp she and her cousins are in is a deadend. There's only one thing to do: reunite with their mothers, so they make their escape. Much of the film shows us the harrowing journey that these three girls make and the spiritual strength, inspired by the bond between them and their mothers, that they draw from to make their dangerous trek in the desert. What's remarkable about this film is how dead-on the acting is from the three girls, ages between seven and thirteen. The director, who discussed in great detail the casting in the documentary section of the DVD, says that finding the right girls would make or break the film. He shows how he gained the girls' trust, taught them to act (they were not professional actors), and most of all, explains how they lost their innocence and connected themselves to a part of their history that until then they were not clear about. This is the only DVD where the documentary footage on the making of the film is as compelling as the film itself. To see these girls blossom as actors and raise their social consciousness in the process, maturing as human beings, both on and off the camera, is a remarkable thing to witness....more info
- THEY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE, ALL OVER THE EARTH!
RABBIT-PROOF FENCE is visually beautiful as well as the story. The story line is about three little Australian Aborigine girls who flee a white concentration camp where mixed race Aborigine children are "taught to conform." The movie reminded me so much of the TV movie, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN. There was no difference between Australia during that time and America during slavery. No one really talks about Australia and the Aborigines, this movie SHOWS you! ...more info
- Fantatic movie about Australia's "Stolen Generations"
True story, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" details the long journey of three young aboriginal girls after being forcefully taken from their family in order to learn how to "fit into" aka be domestics in white society. My wife and daughters loved this movie, I think they watched it twice in 3 days.
Australia's government finally offered an apology last week.........Finally...more info
- More than true...
I was amazed at how much I could relate this powerful, beautifully-told story to our history here in North America, where there are still elders in Indian Country who experienced the same thing, being taken from their parents and forced to stay in boarding schools designed to "kill the Indian, save the child." So much was the same, the forced assimilation, the forbidding of using native language, the forced religion, the brainwashing into thinking that the assimilated aboriginal is better and more intelligent than the non-assimilated. So much is similar that I wish there was more relationship between Australia's "stolen generation" and First Nations people who survived boarding schools and their descendants.
Acting was top-notch from the three girls who had never before acted--particularly Everlyn Sampi, who is clearly a natural method-actor as the director says in the excellent making-of featurette on the DVD (which also includes a great commentary). The photography is gorgeous, really managing to capture the soul of the outback with respect and almost a sort of love. Amazingly unsentimental and never melodramatic--which is quite an accomplishment for such a dramatic, challenging story. And, while there is heartbreak, this manages to ultimately be a feel-good movie...the kind that stays with you. I don't know anyone who's seen it who didn't enjoy it.
While the subject matter is difficult, I think this would be quite appropriate for families and the classroom. None of the material would be too much for kids, and there's no language or anything else that parents would find questionable. ...more info
- AMAZING...Saw this movie twice!!!
I saw this movie twice, what a gripping story...I couldn't help but feel anxiety watching this movie of these three girls on their journey back home. I was glued to this movie. What a tear-jerker so have the tissues ready. It goes to show that strong will, strong love and a brave soul will get you anywhere!...more info
- Wonderful, despite US marketing efforts to misguide you
To begin, I question the head-scratchingly off-point marketing campaign used by US marketers to promote this stellar overseas release. 'Rabbit-Proof Fence' tells the amazing, true-life saga of three young Aboriginal girls, kidnapped by the Australian government as part of a terribly misguided forced resettlement program. These three girls are reflective of what Australians now call the 'lost generation.' The policy is now universally seen as a colossal blunder in this proud nation's history.
In the Australian and EU marketing campaigns, we know exactly what the movie brings: it features a stirring image of two of the girls - Everlyn Sampi and Tianna Sansbury - obviously struggling through the Outback, fence on their right, foreboding sky in the background. In short, a succinct and indelible image of what the film is about.
So, how is US release marketed? With a huge picture of Kenneth Branagh, in 'hero pose' no less, eyes scanning the horizon with intent purpose. Which would be fine if (a) Branagh was the star, and (b) he was the hero.
Much to the contrary, Branagh is the movie's villian. In fact, he is the villian to such an extent that he's referred to in the film as "Mr Devil."
This is how you decide to market the movie? Pathetic.
It's a shame, too, because 'Fence' itself is a wonderful movie, both stirring and educational. Even better is the "Making of..." DVD extra, which centers on Director Phillip Noyce's efforts to find and cast his three young stars. You will be left open-mouthed at the magnetism of the oldest of the selected trio, Everlyn Sampi. And Tianna Sansbury's screen test - included here uncut - will blow you away, just as it did Mr. Noyce. If ever there was such a thing as a natural actress, little Ms. Sansbury is it.
- A Geat Story
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. ...more info
- About Love and the Resiliency of the Human Spirit
This is a brilliant movie about love and the resiliency of the human spirit. In
Australia during the early 20th century, half-caste Aboriginal children were
taken from their mothers and placed in orphanages. It was thought that if
they intermarried, their Aboriginal blood would be 'watered down' after three
This movie, based on a true story, is about three sister who escape from an
orphanage and make a trek along the Rabbit-Proof Fence, the longest fence
in the world, in order to find their way home again. It is a movie that will
make you cry and get up and cheer much like Slumdog Millionaire....more info
- Inspiring True Story
Between 1905 and 1971 the Australian government had enacted a policy of forcibly removed all half-caste Aboriginal children to special training schools. The grown daughter of Molly wrote a book about her mother's experiences and this movie is an adaptation of that true story.
In 1931, Molly and her younger cousins, Gracie and Daisy, were three half-caste children from Western Australia who were taken from their parents under government edict and sent to an institution, were taught to forget their families, their culture, and re-invent themselves as members of "white" Australian society. The three girls begin an epic journey back to Western Australia, traveling 1,500 miles on foot with no food or water, and navigating by following the fence that has been build across the nation to stem an over-population of rabbits.
Though the movie shows that the government's officer in charge had essentially good intentions. That these actions brought about by this policy were misguided and ultimately very destructive to Australia's Aborigine people and to the nation's moral fabric. This story of hope and survival will give you faith in the undying strength of the human spirit. Well worth watching.
- Interesting film, fascinating extra
An affecting, deeply heartfelt film. If you're reading this, you probably guessed that already.
Here's something you might not guess from a quick glance at the DVD cover, though - or closer scrutiny, for that matter: a terrific behind-the-scenes documentary.
Rabbit-Proof Fence has a lot going for it - a richly compelling story, a sensational musical score by Peter Gabriel (in the vein of his Passion music from Last Temptation of Christ), a well-known director with a sure hand and a keen eye for detail, etc., etc.
When all is said and done, though, it all comes down to the kids' performances. One false note there, and the whole movie risks collapse.
I'm not a fan of DVD extras as a rule - I'm of the school that believes the thing should speak for itself. Also, you and I can pick any number of DVDs that advertised fanta-bulous extras, only to deliver pallid 7-minute "documentaries" and thinly disguised commercial ads for the movie itself - ie. "making-of" featurettes that are actually thinly disguised theatrical trailers.
Well, the documentary on this DVD is a stunner - almost reason alone to buy the disc.
The 42-minute documentary - almost half the length of the feature itself - focuses on Phillip Noyce's casting, vetting and eventual direction of the three kids in question.
Other reviewers have commented here about how striking 11-year-old Evelyn Sampi was in the pivotal role. What's remarkable about the documentary on this DVD is that you get to see exactly what was involved in bringing her out of her shell. It's a candid, affecting, honest portrayal, and Noyce comes across as a deeply humane, empathetic person, about as far removed from the cliche of the Hollywood tyrant as you can get. Sampi, for her part, is clearly special - though, watching this, it's easy to worry about where she may go from here.
There's a telling moment in the documentary when Noyce, trying to life her spirits at a magazine photo shoot, says, "You're going to be like Nicole Kidman" (Noyce directed Kidman in her break-through role in Dead Calm, you may recall) and Sampi fires back, without missing a beat: "Cathy Freeman." (Cathy Freeman, as you may know, is Australia's world record holder and Olympic champion middle-distance runner, and a hero to her fellow aborigines.) The documentary also gives credit to the kids' acting coach, a trained aborigine actor and acting teacher, and it not only tells you about her but shows her working with the kids.
And let's hear it, too, for Kenneth Branagh, who was brave enough to play a real prick, without once trying to soften the edges. (One minor complaint: This is not Branagh's film; I suspect even he is embarassed to see his face dominate the DVD and movie poster's cover so much. There's a stunning image on the DVD menu of Sampi, braced against the wind, holding one of her younger siblings in her arms, the wind and dust playing across their faces: That would have made a much more striking cover. Oh, well, you know what they say: never judge a DVD by its cover. And never judge a movie by its poster.)
I thoroughly enjoyed Rabbit-Proof Fence.
I dreaded it at first, thinking it was going to be yet another one of those swallow-your-medicine TV movies-of -the-week. You know the ones: the ones with colons in their titles, that make you feel crummy just for being alive. But Noyce's humanity, his eye for human expressions and the deeply moving performances from the kids - all the kids - won me over.
The documentary is what makes this DVD special, though. (A minor caveat: the documentary, long as it is, focuses exclusively on the shaping of the kids' performances, so if you're looking for other background on the making of the film, or a documentary about the historical context in which the events unfolded, you won't find it here.)
If you appreciated this film as much as I did, do seriously consider getting this DVD. It doesn't have any of those fancy "special edition" or "director's cut" labels emblazoned on it, and the cover isn't really reperesentative of the movie inside, but it's special just the same....more info
- from molly's mouth to doris's ear
According to Molly's own daughter, Doris, Molly said 'this is not my story' because her story did not end at the happy point that the film stopped on. Unfortunately Molly later lost 2 daughters to that self-same Moore school. Simply watch the film, and the special features (which are excellent). Listen with your ears not your biases and you will hear for yourself.
This is a touching, moving, unforgettable film about another appalling moment in human history. A must see. Thank goodness the filmmaker chose to end on a high note, anything else would have been unbearable....more info
- Incredible Journey
I watched RPF last night. This is a well directed, very moving story about 2 sisters and a cousin who were taken from their mothers because they were half cast (aborigine/white). The girls were taken to a camp 1200 miles away that would indoctrinate them into the ways of white society. The girls, led by 14 year-old Molly make an escape from the camp and WALK back home (about a 2 month journey I think), using the fence as a sort of compass.
Well directed, well acted (the young girls are INCREDIBLE), beautifully shot, and a very engaging story. The director's goal of making these kids YOUR kids was achieved as far as I'm concerned.
Bravo! One of the better films I've seen in many years!
- THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY
Let me begin by saying this is a completely enthralling movie. I wept at the plight of three little girls walking across Australia and dodging the evil Tracker who would take them back to captivity. But the movie is not a true account in the sense of children being ripped from their mothers and locked away from their own society. And the word "genocide" is thrown around capriciously and without regard to its meaning.
Genocide is the murder of a race of people. The children who were relocated were fed, clothed, given an education and (horror of horrors) a Christian value base. For anyone who would like to take the time and read the other side of "Rabbit Proof Fence", may I recommend an article by Keith Windschuttle which can be accessed at this web address: http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/21/mar03/keithw.htm#top.
Again, the movie itself is top drawer, but should in no way be considered a truthful history of the treatment of aborigines in the mid-20th century, nor should it ever be used for educational purposes as it is in error....more info
- A Must See
Our daughter had recommended this movie to us after watching it at school, and a special thanks goes to her. This movie captures the human spirit at its best actually using aborignal actors that had no acting experience proior to the making of this movie. Its a movie for all ages and teaches us a valuable lesson of human spirit, determination and the will to survive at such a young age, under such hostile conditions. This definetly a must see and to have in you're collection to be watched again. ...more info
- Going Home: Three Girls' 1,500 Mile Journey in Australia
This is a story that must be told again and again, from generation to generation. In 1931, Australia, three aboriginal girls were taken away from their mothers, in order to be raised under the Christian educational system. The most touching part of the story is, the three girls ran away from the institute, to walk back to their home, barefoot. And the home was 1,500 miles away.
You may find the story is incredible, but what is told is true (you will see that before the end credit rolls). Because of the government's law that attempted to 'save' the aboriganl children, the three girls, Molly, Gracie, and Daisy were captured by force while playing in their village, to be sent to the special institute where the new educational rules were set for the aboriginal children.
But Molly was not a girl to give up, so she and the two girls set out one of the hardest travels in the movie history -- to go back to their home, going 1,500 miles, barefoot. The only guidance they could have was the rabbit proof fence (they made to prevent the imported rabbits from spreading westward), which would lead them to the destination.
But the governental officer in charge A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh) soon starts to move. An able tracker Moodoo follows thier route, reading the footprints on the ground.
Can the three girls go back to their home? The film tells us the simple, but moving story with a skilled storytell's voice, without making it too dramatic nor too lean. Actually, it is suspeceful when it wants to, but when it does, it does not lose its authenticity at all.
TWO GREAT POINTS about the film are its soundtrack music by Peter Gabriel, and the photography by Christopher Doyle. The film together with their contributions unfolds like an epic against the marvelous backdrop of the nature in Australia. And though three girls (all non-pro actors) are all convincing, it is Kenneth Branagh who really amazes us. His character is a very believable one, a kind of person doing very atrocious things out of what he believes is pure good-will. Branagh is very good when he does this sort of tricky job, as is seen in his portrayal of Nati officer in equally impressive 'The Conspirasy.'
DIRECTOR PHILIP NOYCE (himself from Australia) is probably known for his two Jack Ryan films, one so-so shocker 'Bone Collector' or several awful thrillers like 'Sliver' and 'The Saint.' Forget about his past records. He is a good director if given a right material, and now he shows it again. ...more info
- Rabbit-Proof Fence
This is a great movie. It's sad though to see yet another example of man's inhumanity to man. I would highly recommend this film....more info
- Rabbit Proof Fence
This movie was excellent, it had all the emotions. I never dreamed that this occurred anywhere in the world. I highly recommend this movie....more info
- Molly Craig: "This is not my story." (Film is good though)
This rather well made & enjoyable Australian film is billed as a true story. We are shown an individual, half-caste, Aborigine girl by the name of Molly Craig as she is forceably taken from her mother and thence to a place called Moore River to be brought up amongst whites. All the children at Moore River, we are led to believe, have similarly been remanded here for their own good and against their and/or their parents' will; the director all the while conveying the view that---in this manner---the Australian government went about trying to extiguish Aborigine culture, by removing half-caste (ie., those with one white parent) Aborigine children from their families to be brought up as white. The focus of this film concerns a young girl (named Molly) as she walks over a thousand miles back to her mother, after she escapes (with her 2 sisters) from Moore River. The guardian of that institution (played by Kenneth Branagh) is portrayed as one determined to locate these girls and have them forceably brought back for their own good. It's a remarkable story actually---the girl Molly did in fact walk over a thousand miles! back to her mother & home in the 1930s (by following a low "rabbit proof fence" through western Austalia. The real Molly Craig, when viewing this film, however, declared "This is not my story." She wasn't actually taken by force, for instance. Her step-father even consented to her being sent to Moore River. Moreover, the 1936 Royal Commission into treatment of Aborigines showed that 1,003 of Moore River's 1,067 children weren't "stolen" but voluntarily brought by their parents to get a schooling or be safe ; for their own good (as half-castes were sometimes harrassed and/or shunned by other Aborigines). Read all the details yourself from the Australian Civil Liberties Union at this address: (www.angelfire.com/folk/aclu/yr22.htm) To boot, the illiterate girl who portrayed Molly Craig in this film herself ran away from the making of this picture; not once, but twice! And after the film was completed she was then sent to boarding school by the director (yes she was brought back twice too, to complete the film) until she decared she didn't want to be there either; wanting simply to go home---a desire she was ultimately granted. The director declared that he was only trying to help her---notwithstanding the film's Kenneth Branagh character saying the same thing in the film while being presented as a racist. Mind you, I LIKED THE FILM. It was well shot. The children actors were very believable. The Australian landscapes involved herein were captured to great effect too. The problem is---after reading up on this for several hours on the internet---I know not what's true and what isn't concerning the story of Aborigines in Australia; except that the director of this film apparently took an awful lot of liberties with the story on which he based Rabbit Proof Fence. That the director had the audacity to put a photo of the real Molly Craig at the end of the film, too, inclines me to not recommend this film. But I won't go that far since I actually liked the film. Instead, let me suggest that you not take all you see and hear in this film as necessarily part of the notion that "This is a true story." And should you decide to give this film a try do at least have a look at the article I've indicated above. Thanks for reading my thoughts herein & I hope you take them in the spirit in which they were offered; honestly, I find it hard to understand why folks wouldn't want more information when it's rather pertinent, I think. (04Dec) Cheers!...more info
- Emotional real story...
I was so affected by this film I cried for several hours afterwards. Like Schindlers list, this does not put you off but instead places it in the top ten list of great films about reality, life and the society that we have created and live in.
To think that children where pulled away from their parents and driven miles away to very strict schooling and no freedom, is just barbaric. But these three girls walk home. And this is the story about their courage and how they followed the guidance of their ancestors to achieve this. The great female and aboringial wisdom broke all distance and you are left wandering whether we have corrupted all similar tribes and whether the loss of our instinctial tribal ways is one of the biggest costs of a western society.
The cinematography resonates with the rawness of the film and you feel as if you are walking with them.
To then meet, at the end of the film, two of the children that are now grown up women is such a wonderful ending and such a poignant moment but is done in such a casual way.
To all those that have now lost their homes all around the world, you realise what a tragedy that really is. My heart goes out to them.
Watch this film, it is really beautiful.
Mrs Engen...more info
- Rabbit-Proof Fence
Based on a true story that marks an especially repugnant episode in Australian history, Noyce's visually arresting, powerfully moving "Fence" concerns efforts begun in the 1930s to recondition indigenous children of mixed heritage to be more "white," through enforced training and the putatively superior discipline of civilized society. Sampi is marvelous as the scrappy and stoic eldest child, traipsing through the barren outback in tattered clothes and scavenging food with her clinging siblings while evading tracker Moodoo (David Gulpilil). Branagh is excellent, too, as the cold, noxious functionary obsessed with their capture. Don't hop this "Fence."...more info
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, he shines. There's nothing more unctuous than a man who thinks he is doing the right and noble thing, which we can view in hindsight as a truly horrible policy.
The story is set in 1931 during the Australian relocation of half-caste children to an orphanage that tried to instill white culture and identity on them. The three girls that the story follows are taken from their home and transported to the Moore House 1200 miles away, then run away to make their way back home by walking, mostly using the rabbit-proof fence as a guide. The director doesn't attempt to explain much beyond the initial subtitles that set the time and scene; in fact, in some scenes, his "show" has to be interpreted, albeit it is usually obvious enough (such as the white man visiting the half-caste cleaning woman on his farm in the middle of the night). Branagh's Neville is a central focus, ostensibly the villain of the movie, but he comes across as simply a bureaucrat with no empathy for the aborigines that he is supposed to be the protector of. The scene in which he explains his goal of breeding the color out of the half-castes makes clear that his protectorship was more oriented to the whites than the aborigines.
One finishes the movie simply shaking your head in disbelief. It's hard to conceive walking 1200 miles (or more, given the wrong turns and need to avoid capture) across the Australian outback without dying of hunger or thirst or simply getting lost. And it's hard to believe in a people that would engage in such practice of separating mother from child, as recently as 1970. As Americans we can't be too critical of the Australians, however, because our actions with our own indigenous people were hardly noble or just and just occured a few decades before the Austrialian debacle.
I enjoyed Rabbit-Proof Fence, although I'm not sure I'd recommend it to just anyone. It's pleasantly short, which is good, because there wasn't any need for it to be longer given the story, but also the brevity helps the film make its point without belaboring it....more info
- glad I bought it
After reading the book I wanted to see if the essence of the story would be uphelt in the movie and I wasn't disappointed. In fact I felt it helped me understand the enormity of what these girls accomplished!...more info
This film is definitely a must see - one of the very best films I've ever seen. Beautiful, haunting - you won't forget this one. ...more info
- Riveting Film
An excellent movie: well-paced, well-acted, well-told. A disturbing story that will leave you morose and contemplative on issues of injustice. The DVD documentary tells you that the main characters are portrayed by three young aboriginal girls with no previous acting experience. The performances are riveting. It gives pause to think that they were able to pull it off without commanding $20M salaries!
In all, a film I heartily recommend. You will definitely be touched....more info
- Heart Breaking...
Based on true story. Set in 1930's in western Australia. Aboriginal children, fathered and abandoned by white workers, were pulled from the aboriginal mothers and herded into camps 1500 miles away - where they were forced to give up their native language, culture and customs. Ultimately they are held in this camp until they were re-settled as cheap labor.
Molly Craig (14) and her 2 of her young cousins, Daisy and Gracie, aged 8 and 10, were three of these children. They ran away from the camp to make their 1500 mile trek home on foot over a span of 9 weeks. They were pursued by Aboriginal trackers hired by the Government along with the army and police. The story shows the incredible determination and persistence of the girls to get back to their mothers in addition to the persistence of the Government to recapture them.
Terrific cinematography and casting. Very moving story where I learned part of Australia's unflattering history...
- History hurts!
Watched movie with my neighbors and am giving Amazon purchase as Christmas present. Service from Amazon was excellent....more info
- Will make you think.
Three young girls are forced to leave their mothers in 1931 and move to the Moore River Native Settlement: Australia's aboriginal equivalent to the U.S.'s Native American relocation attempts. They refuse to remain there, however, and begin an epic 1,500 mile trek across Australia, following the "rabbit proof fence" as they are relentlessy tracked by a pair of hired men.
What Rabbit Proof Fence does is create in the viewer a sense of familiarity with the main characters, so much so that you will likely consider yourself a fourth member of this little band of persistent travelers. In the end, I found myself deeply engrossed in these little girls and could not turn away as I was completely invested in watching the outcome of their journey.
This is one of the better films I saw last year and a top 50 independent film. Story-wise it's tremendous and musically it's superb (soundtrack by Peter Gabriel). ...more info
- Talk about walkabout
While there are plenty of panoramic shots of the vastness of the Australian outback, I never really felt the enormity of the accomplishment of a couple young girls walking over a thousand miles through this unforgiving land. I was expecting for the film to deal with the perils and struggles in this journey, but it dealt more with the politics of the adults trying to capture them. There was more weight given to eugenics than to establishing the personalities of the girls. There are scenes where people along the way assist the girls with food and coats, but in a walk of that distance that took a couple months, there must have been something more dramatic to deal with.(lack of water, dingos, poisonous snakes?)
The documentary in the special features was actually more interesting as you get to see the real personalities of the people involved. The scene where the girls were taken from their mother had the actors and onlookers emotionally overcome during the filming, but seemed to lose some of that power in the editing. Had to be there I guess. Not a bad movie, but it doesn't really fill in enough blanks....more info
There can be little question that, were the shoe on the other foot --that is, if the government of the United States or England decided to take away the children of an entire demographic, say the children of southern whites or of people living in one of England's numerous rust belt ex-cities of the sort that seem to give ingrown rise to skinheads and white supremacists-- we would be reading some very different views from the racists on the topics explored in Rabbit Proof Fence. Can you imagine your neighbor's two kids being being carted away by the local sheriff without a fight? It wouldn't happen. Yet some people keep posting reviews that urge common, decent folk, like you and your neighbors, to support the sort of policy depicted by Rabbit Proof Fence. Incredible.
As bleak as Rabbit Proof Fence is at times, the story is, as many here have noted, really one of hope, of the triumph of the human spirit. It is a beautiful demonstration of resisting and overcoming gross social injustice. THAT'S the LESSON of this film. And besides being a great adventure trek story in it's own right, the film stands as a reminder: the only thing necessary for something like this to happen again -- to any race, any place, any moment-- is for the human capacity for empathy and seeing things FROM the other person's life-vantage to pass away without resistance. THAT'S why the voices of haters and racists deserve not censorship, but simply to be drowned out-- smothered completely-- by the voices of reasonable people who HAVEN'T lost their ability to empathise and identify and feel compassion for people who aren't exactly like them. To haters, empathy is a mystical process. They don't get it, and they hate it because it poses THE central threat to their ability to induct the disenfranchied and gullible into their intellectually and emotionally stunted army of the Got-It-All-Wrong.
This film is great, and the DVD contains some very fine supporting material, in the form of the audio commentary and making-of documentary. It will make an absolutely superb addition to any library or school DVD collection. Five stars+....more info