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- "Following Rabbit-Proof Fence" documentary
Top Customer Reviews
The story takes place in 1931, when Molly, then 14, her sister Daily, then 8, and her cousin Gracie, then 10, are literally torn from the arms of their mothers, put in a cage, and taken 1,200 miles away to a school which is actually a sort of prison. Here, they are forbidden to speak their own language, they have to attend a Christian church, and are taught the ways of the white Australian culture around them. Led by Molly, the girls run away. And most of the film is the odyssey of their trek back home, following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects Australia, constructed to keep rabbits out of the pastureland.
The villain is clearly the white director of the school. It is amazing, but he actually believes in the racial theories that were prevalent at the time. He believes he is helping them and plays his role well, coming across as stupid and misguided rather than evil. The Aboriginal girls are all unknowns, and terrific actresses, as are the women who play Molly and Daisy's mother and grandmother. The courage and determination of the girls during their three-month journey, the people they meet along the way, and their efforts to dodge the trackers who have been sent to retrieve them by the school, is truly inspiring. This is all set against the backdrop of the Australian outback; the cinematography certainly captures its beauty.
The film is 94 minutes long and moves quickly.Read more ›
The story is fascinating, and the execution from director Phillip Noyce is stunning. This is a perfect film for history teachers to show their students. The performances are very natural and winning. Peter Gabriel's score is excellent - with the music playing over the closing credits being some of his best work ever (and appearing in a slightly different form as "Sky Blue" on his 2002 album, _UP_).
If you have seen this movie and enjoyed it, the DVD is a keeper. The audio commentary from Noyce is superbly done. In addition to giving the viewer background as to how and why he did the movie, he also offers up some interesting tidbits about the difference between working on mainstream films ("Clear & Present Danger," "Sliver," etc.) and smaller films like "Rabbit-Proof Fence" and "The Quiet American." A good documentary is included as well.
Three things stand out about this movie. First, the simplicity of the story. This is a movie that has easily identifiable good and bad guys. The policy the government embarked on for several decades was obviously and irredeemably racist and evil, and in part made more tragic by not being widely reported. I know a couple of Australians living here in Chicago, and both say they had never heard of this practice while growing up. This film does an enormous service to humankind by publicizing this great crime.
Second, the performances by the three girls in the central roles are marvelous. In particular, Everylyn Sampi, as Molly, the oldest of the three girls, stands out. What is remarkable is the three girls were utter amateurs, with no acting experience at all. Sampi manages to imbue her Molly with both great intelligence and iron-willed determination.
Third, the film is both a visual and aural delight. I have over the years seen a lot of films shot in Australia, most of them much further east than this one. Most of it occurs in areas of Australia that are less familiar.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Grim but wonderfully acted. Sad that something like this even happened, just like every other situation like it, but we have to see and know to harden our resolve never to allow it... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Gil Hutchinson
A very good movie. I watched it a lot of times before I bought itPublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Offered great understanding of the dangers of cultural manipulation -- humanity survives despite inhumanityPublished 16 days ago by Eric Murphy
A True story of 3 young Australian Aborigine girls whose love of home and family is beset by tragedy and triumph. Beautifully photographed and told with restraint and sympathy.Published 19 days ago by Bradford L. Gough
As we live our daily lives especially here in the U.S. one never knows what is happening next door, in another State or in another country. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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