Film Review: Rabbit-Proof Fence written by Emilie, 9.6

Phillip Noyce’s drama film “Rabbit-Proof Fence” is based on a true story. It is set in 1931 in Western Australia. The director chose to work with untrained Aboriginal actresses as protagonists, namely: Evelyn Sampi as Molly Craig, Tianny Sainsbury as Daisy Craig, and Laura Monoghan as Gracie Fields. Kenneth Branagh portrayed the Chief Protector of the Aboriginals, A.O. Neville, and David Gulpilil played the tracker Moodoo.

The movie is about an Aboriginal family whose children Molly, Daisy, and Gracie are taken away and brought to the “Moore River Native Settlement.” The reason for this is the racist motive of the so-called Chief Protector of Aboriginal People, A.O. Neville, who aims to “breed out” the blackness among Aboriginals. His plan involves separating lighter mixed-race children from their families, educate them, and encourage them to marry white men. Aboriginal children with a darker skin colour are trained as domestic servants under very bad conditions. 

The stolen children, Molly, Gracie, and Daisy, quickly realize how cruel people at “Moore River Native Settlement” are. Molly, the eldest, decides to run away with the two younger girls, despite the risk of getting caught and being punished. The girls manage successfully to hide from those chasing them and with some help of good-hearted people they are going a long way.
A panicking A.O. Neville is worried about his reputation and becomes more and more desperate to catch them, using tricks and traps. Sadly, Gracie is finally caught by Constable Riggs and brought back to Moore River Native Settlement. After grieving over the loss, Molly and Daisy continue their journey alone. After a long period of walking in a dead and dry area the girls break down. Luckily, they manage to get themselves together and make the last part home to reunite with their family.

I think the movie is pretty good. It might not be for everyone, but if it connects well with your interests, I’d say it’s an exciting movie. Even though the girls aren’t professionally trained their acting is really good and I was able to relate to the characters and their feelings. The music was catching and a suited the atmosphere well. I think, the director could have used more exciting camera movements or angles. The colours match the movie’s vibe and keep it realistic. Since it’s based on a true story, the setting is well chosen and gives the impression that it really takes place in 1931. I don’t have any criticism about the costumes either. They look realistic and suit the setting well. 

I’d recommend the movie to students who are interested in serious subjects.