Based on a true story, Rabbit-proof Fence
moves with dignified grace from its joyful opening scenes to a conclusion that's moving beyond words. The title refers to a 1,500-mile fence separating outback desert from the farmlands of Western Australia. It's here, in 1931, that three aboriginal girls are separated from their mothers and transported to a distant training school, where they are prepared for assimilation into white society by a racist government policy. Gracie, Daisy, and Molly belong to Australia's "stolen generations", and this riveting film (based on the book
by Molly's daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara) follows their escape and tenacious journey homeward, while a stubborn policy enforcer (Kenneth Branagh) demands their recapture.
Director Phillip Noyce chronicles their ordeal with gentle compassion, guiding his untrained, aboriginal child actors with a keen eye for meaningful expressions. Their performances evoke powerful emotions (subtly enhanced by Peter Gabriel's excellent score), illuminating a shameful chapter of Australian history while conveying our universal need for a true and proper home. --Jeff Shannon
During the most part of the early to mid 20th century, Australia's government policy was that mixed race Aboriginal children would be better off being brought up as white and so forcefully removed them from their homes to be trained as domestic servants. This film follows the true story of 3 such children; cousins Molly, Gracie and Daisy, who in 1931 found themselves being taken from their parents, sent to an institution and forced to forget their family and culture. However, Molly leads her 2 cousins in a daring escape across 1,500 miles of outback with no water and only the fence erected across the country to stop the epidemic of rabbits as a guide. Kenneth Branagh plays the government official charged with the return of the girls and the story is based on the book by Doris Pilkington, the neice of Daisy.