Rabbit-Proof FenceDirector: Phillip Noyce
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After directing a number of major motion pictures in the United States, Australian-born filmmaker Phillip Noyce returned home to make this remarkable adventure-drama, based on a true story as well as a lamentable period in his nation's history. When European settlers first arrived in Australia, there was an almost immediate conflict between the recent arrivals and the nation's indigenous people, whose rich cultural heritage which bore little resemblance to that of the Europeans. By the mid-19th century, when white settlers had gained political control of the continent, many aborigines found themselves removed from their lands and their children taken from them, under the belief that the youngsters would be better off in a more "civilized" environment. Through most of the 20th century, it was official government policy that half- or quarter-caste indigenous children were to be taken from their families and raised as "white" children in orphanages, where they would be trained to work as domestic servants or laborers. In 1931, Molly (Everlyn Sampi) and her younger sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) were three half-caste children from Western Australia who were taken from their parents under government edict and sent to an institution, where they were subject to physical and emotional abuse as they were taught to forget their families, their culture, and their lives up to that point and re-invent themselves as members of "white" Australian society. Gracie and Daisy cling to Molly for support, and Molly decides they need to return to their parents. Molly plans a daring escape, and the three girls begin an epic journey back to Western Australia, travelling 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. A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), the government functionary in charge of relocating Western Australia's aborigines, takes a special interest in the case of the three girls, and brings in a veteran tracker, Moodoo (David Gulpilil) to help find them, secure in the belief he's acting in their best interest. Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on the acclaimed book by Doris Pilkington Garimara, whose Aunt Daisy was one of the three children who made the extraordinary journey and helped her with the research for the book.
The final scene of the film contains an appearance and a revelation of astonishing emotional power; not since the last shots of Schindler's List have I been so overcome with the realization that real people, in recent historical times, had to undergo such inhumanity.
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- Original Release:
- Lions Gate
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen, Color]
- [Dolby Digital Stereo]
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Cast & Crew
|Everlyn Sampi||Molly Craig|
|Tianna Sansbury||Daisy Craig|
|Laura Monaghan||Gracie Fields|
|Kenneth Branagh||A.O. Neville|
|Jason Clarke||Constable Riggs|
|Ningali Lawford||Molly's Mother|
|Myarn Lawford||Mooly's Grandmother|
|Garry McDonald||Mr. Neal|
|Roy Billing||Police Inspector|
|Andrew S. Gilbert||Depot Manager|
|Ken Radley||Fence Worker|
|George Acogny||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Laura Burrows||Associate Producer|
|Craig Carter||Sound/Sound Designer|
|David Elfick||Executive Producer|
|Roger Ford||Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer|
|Peter Gabriel||Score Composer|
|Kathleen McLaughlin||Executive Producer|
|Emma Schofield||Asst. Director|
|Jeremy Thomas||Executive Producer|
1. Daily Life [5:35]
2. Taken [6:27]
3. Bred Out [5:03]
4. Unfamiliar Life [3:31]
5. Here To Help [7:14]
6. Bad Place [4:14]
7. Escape [6:34]
8. Lost [7:17]
9. Spreading News [6:45]
10. Close Call [5:54]
11. Evading The Tracker [5:49]
12. Split [7:31]
13. Exhaustion [5:27]
14. The Sound Of Home [6:17]
15. Lack Of Funding [9:53]
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is an excellent story of stolen children, who escape and make their way home. After just two days at a boarding school for Aboriginal children, Molly, Daisy, and Gracie flee into the Outback. They head north, into the bush, and travel along the rabbit-proof fence. Along the way, they dodge the tracker on horseback and are helped by kind settlers. The film is set in 1931 and is based on a true story. The soundtrack contains traditional music; there is minimal dialogue, as is fitting; and the photography depicts the Australian Outback accurately. It is stark and dry with flies but contains secret resources know to native peoples. Separating children from their cultures and placing them in boarding schools was a human rights violation. The practice occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries in nations around the world: in the United States, in Canada, and in Russia, as well as in Australia. Only Canada has issued an apology.
A history of which I did not know that took place in Australia. An eye opener indeed.
The movie is amazing and the making if it, especially finding untrained children in the outback who are untouched enough by current world, is another amazing story. And the comparison of the two, a third. Don't miss seeing the making of. I buy few DVDs but I had to buy this one and have since recommended it unceasingly to others.
Philip Noyce has made a first class chase/survival film that works as a semi-factual piece of cinema.Based on fact,one has to be a little sceptical regarding what Noyce is asking us to accept as actual fact. The film asks us to believe that 3 children aged from eight to fourteen could walk 1200 miles with little food and water across some of the most barren and forbidding country in the world. The film also chooses to ignore the fact that many of these children were living in atrocious conditions,with alcoholic mothers often unable to care properly for themselves let alone for their children.Although we cannot ignore the terrible trauma these children must have gone through we cannot also deny that in the long run many of them were better off in their new lives. If film makers want us to accept their movies as factual they should give all the facts.
What a beautiful movie, so simple yet powerful! I was unaware of the history of the native people of Australia and what several generations endured. It is a horror to think that these children were forcibly removed from there families as recently as 1970 just because they were mixed~! The story is amazing and the music is haunting. I was touched by the strength shown by these 3 girls. You have to watch the extras on the dvd.
This film opened my eyes and moved me, an experience I have not felt in years as a movie-goer. The stark honest performances of the children and particularly Molly's sense of defiance and belief in herself was remarkable, portrayed beautifully by young Everlyn Sampi. I especially enjoyed her connection with the hawk, a guiding force as well as the fence for helping the girls find their way home. The cinematography is superb, capturing the raw, dry wildnerness of the Australian Outback, and Peter Gabriel's score enhances this with echoes of chants and rhythms. The images and sounds have stayed with me for weeks.
This movie is fantastic. It is so well done, so beautifully heartbreaking. I just kept thinking about it for days afterwards. Do yourself a favor and watch this amazing story.
This movie reveals the plight of the human spirit, watch three beautiful children defy the wishes of the dominent white culture and return to their native tribal roots. You will laugh, cry, and root the children on as they travel 1500 miles on foot, braving the elements and out-smarting those who try to ''civilize'' them.
This movie is done so well. I had to watch it twice because I was so moved by the story. Please watch this. You will not regret it.
This was such a wonderful film! I could not stop thinking about the story and the wonderful spirit of those three girls. The director's story at the end is awesome and how he found the three girls to play these parts in incredible. I HIGHLY recommend the time for this film.