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Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

  Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Laura Monaghan, Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury
Links: Rabbit-Proof Fence on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2002 (winner)

This movie gets: 8.00 (3 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 53rd of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Beneath Clouds (2002), pearly's review of Black and White (2002) and mino's review of Lantana (2001).

"Incredible story, incredible acting" - a review by mino

The "stolen generations" of Aboriginal children, plucked from their homes throughout a good portion of the 20th century for their own "protection", is something of a hot topic in Australia at the moment. So the appearance of Rabbit Proof Fence, a sort of 1930s Aboriginal "road movie", is timely.

Rabbit Proof Fence is the story of Molly, Daisy and Gracie: three Aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken away from their family in Western Australia in 1931 as part of a policy to "protect" half-caste children from being immersed in Aboriginal culture. Shipped off to a "training camp" where they are to learn to become domestic help for white families, it looks like the girls will never see their own families again -- until Molly decides to take matters into her own hands. The girls bolt from the camp and set off to make their way along the rabbit-proof fence, an enormous structure running the length of the country. Chased by police and Aboriginal trackers, the girls have to cross 1500 miles some of the harshest terrain around on their quest to get home.

So that's what it's about. Next question: is it any good? Well, yes it is. Similar in many ways (not the least of which is the plot) to last year's Yolngu Boy, Rabbit Proof Fence shares many of the former's attributes. It is beautifully shot, the stunning outback scenery really setting off the very intense story. The movie does plod in parts: there is a fine line between taking your time to tell such a poignant story and getting boring, and unfortunately I think Rabbit Proof Fence falls on the latter side of the fence sometimes.

The real highlight of Rabbit Proof Fence, though, is the acting, which more than makes up for any flat spots in the story. Child actors are often troublesome for a movie, seeming artificial and painful to watch. But the three young girls in this are simply stunning, particularly newcomer Everlyn Sampi as Molly. She is the most natural, understated, subtle child actor I've ever seen, and really makes this movie. The other girls are almost as good, and fine performances from Aussie stalwarts like David Gulpilil, and imports like Kenneth Branagh, add to the impressive casting.

While Rabbit Proof Fence is a bit of a "templated" movie -- nothing out of the ordinary, and fairly predictable as far as which particular tack it will use to try and tug your heart-strings -- it is largely a true story, so you have to cut some slack there just to allow for how incredible these events must have been.

Rabbit Proof Fence is, while not a perfect movie, a must-see for any Australians who want to see what all the fuss is about at the moment -- and for anyone else who wants an insight into mid-20th-century outback Australian culture. And while there are a few surprises along the way, the very end of the movie will truly leave you amazed.

mino gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 17 Jun 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 1
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 8.00
Lowest rating: 8 (by em_fiction, pearly, mino)
Highest rating: 8 (by em_fiction, pearly, mino)
 
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Reader comments

  1. it was a movie sad n very interesting

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Superman on Thu 07 Apr 2005 13:52 #

  2. i would like to say this movie was fantastic. i did not like the way Molly, Grace and Dasie got treated that was a very sad part. the part i cried the most in was the part when the girls got taken away from there mother. i couldn't belive when the girls walked si far to find there mother that was amazing. it was sad when Grace dies. really that movie was sad and some laughfter to.b thanks for letting me write this i am your bigest fan. i hope we can meet some day so when do you want to meet?

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from kimberley schulz on Wed 06 Jul 2005 13:14 #

  3. i avsolutley loved this movie i have watched it 6 times in a row

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from sarah walker smith on Wed 06 Jul 2005 13:16 #

  4. this movie is a very sad emotional movie it has grt codes and is very intresting

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from leanne on Thu 22 Sep 2005 21:18 #

  5. the film rabbit proof fence is absolutlly great film..it means alot and it shows how aboriginals have been treated it was set in 1931 and a exellent drama adventure film it suits most ages but mostly intrests adults..it a 89% grt film

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from michelle on Thu 22 Sep 2005 21:23 #

  6. it is a good movie

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from taha Khan on Fri 31 Mar 2006 15:33 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.33 (6 ratings)

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