Rabbit Proof Fence (Myths and Untruths)

Essay by haansy November 2007

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Rabbit Proof Fence Essay There are many different points of view as to the historical accuracy of Rabbit Proof Fence, and they will all be displayed as best as possible in this essay. This essay will focus firstly on the portrayal of costumes and Moore River. Secondly, it will focus on the representation of the Removal itself and the Australian Outback. Then thirdly, the portrayal of the Europeans and the Aboriginals will be discussed. Finally, everything will be summarised and you will be left in no doubt about the historical accuracy of Rabbit Proof Fence.

It is debated as to whether the costumes and the Moore River Settlement were displayed as they actually were, or whether it was all created in an illusory land. An article by Andrew Bolt claims that many of the bush camps that featured in the film did not accurately represent the bush camps of that in reality.

Those in the film were neat and tidy, with happy and healthy children, but the fact is that the bush camps were actually quite filthy. The film also displays Molly running and playing together, but in reality she would have been disrespected by the full-bloods, as she was a half-caste. In Bolt’s article, he states “The film shows the girls arriving at Moore River, where they wear prison-style sack and are woken in the morning by a guard who screams and belts the walls of their room with a club. The fact is photos of children at Moore River show them dresses in European clothes. (Doris) Pilkington writes that when her mother ran away, she was dressed in ‘two dresses, two pairs of calico bloomers and a coat.’ She also says that the girls were woken individually and welcomed by one of the female staff.” The...