Rabbit Proof Fence (1998) Film Review

Rabbit Proof Fence

We Aussies have a fair few things in our past and indeed in our present to be ashamed of. One of them is the Stolen Generation where indigenous Australian children were removed from their families to be trained as servants or, if they were lucky, to have the black bred out of them. Yup, it’s as awful as it sounds. (I am aware similar programs happened in many colonised countries. It’s terrible. And in Australia, was only ended in 1970, my goodness).

Rabbit Proof Fence tells the true story of a few little girls who, after being removed from their family in Western Australia in the 1930s, walked their way home, following the newly constructed fence which spanned the country. It is an amazing story for many reasons, none more that the sheer size of Australia – we got a hell of a large country here. This took place in Western Australia which is totally massive. And these girls were little and alone. Amazing.

The film is fairly simplified, which may be because of the ages of the actors or for the audience it is addressing. The one thing that didn’t come across strongly for me was just how tired these children would be after such a long walk. However, the grief of the women was what got me. That and the clinical and precise way that the Protector of Aborigines (played by Kenneth Branagh) carried out his tasks.