“Rabbit Proof Fence”

We have watched a movie called “Rabbit Proof Fence”, it came out in 2002 and it is 94 minutes long. The movie was directed by Phillip Noyce, and it was rewarded with multiple wins, and also nominated for Golden Globe.

In the movie, we meet a small tribe of aborigines that live in peace in Australia 1931. We are introduced to a small family consisting of only girls, Molly and Daisy who are sisters, their cousin Gracie, and their mothers. One day their area is intruded by some men working for the Australian government. They take away the three girls because they are supposed to be a part of a biological absorption initiated by the government where the purpose was to get rid of the “impure races”, the half-caste ones, the children of mixed rase. The three girls are taken away to “Moore River Settlement” which was sort of a camp, with one goal – to extinct the mixed rase. After some days at “Moore River” the girls decide to escape the camp, and go back home. We follow them on the dangerous road back home, through the rough Australian landscape.

The main characters in the movie is Molly, Daisy and Grace. Molly is a really clever girl who always acts with sense. During their escape back home her character truly develops and she becomes much older in her mind age, because she has to take care of Daisy and Gracie. Molly is also very stubborn, and definitely a leader type. Daisy and Gracie do not really understand much of the whole situation I think, especially Daisy, she is too young. Yet, they both matter in the story and their roles provides sympathy, kindness and hopelessness to the movie.

The film is called “Rabbit Proof Fence” because through Australia at that time a fence went across the country to separate the rabbits from agriculture-areas. The fence works as multiple symbols, firs of all it symbolizes a separation between the Aboriginal and European culture. Secondly it symbolizes the way back home, and it helps Molly, Gracie and Daisy finding their way back home.

In Australia in the 20th century, an idea was pushed through and sat in action: that aborigine children, “half-caste”-children, should be taken away from their families and out in programs to make them more European alike. These programs were the ones that took place on were for example “Moore River Settlement”, they did not treat the children too nice. They were robbed of all their traditions, and even worse: their independence. If they did something against the leaders wills they would be punished.

The scene in the movie that made the strongest impression on me was when the three girls are on the road, heading home, and they come over a house in the middle of nowhere. In the house there lives a maid, who is also of mixed-rase and she decides to help the girls and give them shelter and food. She tells them that she has also been to “Moore River”. Just to see her talk about that place in such an awful way, and how strongly she wants to help the girls truly makes an impression. Also, her being there showes us that there is little hope in the girls’ future and that they probably will not see their families again.

As a conclusion I would say that the movie is sad, but a great story. It shows us a theme that is important not to forget. Because it is a true story the whole setting automatically becomes much more serious. I think this is a great way to learn about aborigines and a part of how they have been treated during history, after all they have been through a lot of tough treatment from someone who should mind their own business. I definitely recommend the movie!

— Martha S Raaum

 

 

 

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