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Rabbit-Proof Fence

442 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

RABBIT-PROOF Fence -- featuring the Golden Globe-nominated score by Peter Gabriel -– is a powerful true story of hope and survival and has been met with international acclaim! At a time when it was Australian government policy to train aboriginal children as domestic workers and integrate them into white society, young Molly Craig decides to lead her little sister and cousin in a daring escape from their internment camp. Molly and the girls, part of what would become known as Australia's "Stolen Generations," must then elude the authorities on a dangerous 1,500-mile adventure along the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the continent and will lead them home. As shown by this outstanding motion picture, their universally touching plight and unparalleled courage are a beautiful testament to the undying strength of the human spirit!

Special Features

  • "Following Rabbit-Proof Fence" documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh, Laura Monaghan, David Gulpilil
  • Directors: Phillip Noyce
  • Writers: Christine Olsen, Doris Pilkington
  • Producers: Christine Olsen, David Elfick, Emile Sherman, Jeremy Thomas, John Winter
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLD4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rabbit-Proof Fence" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 7, 2002
Between 1905 and 1971, the Australian government had a horrible policy. They forcibly removed all half-caste Aboriginal children to special training schools. The grown daughter of one of these children wrote a book about her mother's experiences. This film is an adaptation of that book.
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.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Caffrey on May 14, 2003
Format: DVD
Based on (part of) a true story, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" details the long journey that three young aboriginal girls embark on after being forcefully taken from their family in order to learn how to "fit into" a white society.
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.
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Whodathotit on June 7, 2003
Format: DVD
I won't gush on and on about the excellent movie. I want to bring your attention to the "Making of" documentary. So often these are thrown onto a DVD as a "bonus", but amount to nothing more than a refried re-telling of the film. Here, instead, we are treated to forty-five minutes of how Philip Noyce selected his three young actresses, and all the trials and tribulations that entailed. The scene in the film of the three children being taken from their mothers is a very heart-wrenching scene. But, moving beyond compare is that same scene as caught by the "making of" cameras during and after the shoot. Many of the people behind the cameras were in tears during the actual filming of the scene. At the end of the scene, the character mothers are on the ground crying and Noyce yells, "CUT!". He looks down and you can hear the actresses still crying. He looks up and around the camera with a puzzled look on his face to see if perhaps the actresses did not hear him yell, "CUT". They are all still on the ground sobbing, and he has to go over to console them, saying "Woa, Woa, Woa..." to calm them down and bring them out of it because everyone was so drawn into the event they were reenacting they forgot they were only filming a scene. That was very moving to see how the girls and women were so affected by the filming of that scene. Insights such as this are what make the "Making of" documentary actually worth watching after the film itself.
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2003
This is a marvelously successful movie that is especially moving because the story it tells is true. RABBIT-PROOF FENCE is the story of how Australia for several decades took half-caste aboriginal children (i.e., children of mixed white and aboriginal parentage) and raised them in what was essentially an orphanage school to become domestic servants. The film focuses on three girls--Molly, Daisy, and Gracie--who live beside one of Australia's rabbit-proof fences that cover the country and are taken from their mother to live at the school. The bulk of the movie tells of their escape and 1300 mile journey following the rabbit-proof fence back to their mother.
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.
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