Rabbit Proof Fence Review

Essay by John_ElmsHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0


The Director

'New Experiences in Australian Film'

Dendy Theatre

346 George Street

Brisbane, QLD 4000

Dear Sir,

I am a film critic and I would like to recommend the film 'Rabbit Proof Fence' by Magna Pacific Films for inclusion in the 'New Experiences in Australian Film' festival's line-up. This inclusive film acknowledges the experiences of a social group that has been disempowered by systemic cultural and social issues in Australian Society - Aborigines. It also challenges the dominant reading of Australian culture, and positions the audience to question the cultural beliefs, values and attitudes that underpin the dominant representations of aspects of Australian identity.

'Rabbit Proof Fence' is an extraordinary true tale of perseverance set against the deplorable backdrop of government-sanctioned racism in Australia in 1931. The film is set in the agoraphobic desert vistas of Western Australia at a time when it was government policy to remove 'half-caste' children from their Aborigine families and re-educate them to be adopted by white families.

The film commences with a brief history of European settlement in Australia. "One hundred years ago, Aboriginal people resisted the invasion of white settlers." In this quote from the commencement of 'Rabbit Proof Fence', the word 'invasion' is used to emphasize the Europeans aggressiveness towards and disregard for the original inhabitants of Australia. Another meaningful quote taken from the commencement of the film is "The Aborigines Act controls their lives." This quote illustrates the freedom that was taken away from Aboriginal people when European settlers started to govern Australia.

In one of the film's first scenes, fourteen year-old Molly, her eight year-old sister Daisy, and their ten-year-old cousin Gracie are ripped from their mothers' arms at a tribal community called Jigalong, leaving the women sobbing and wailing in the dust...