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Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  31 January 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 22,557 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 247 user | 72 critic | 31 from

In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.



(book) (as Doris Pilkington Garimara) , (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 22 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Monaghan ...
Ningali Lawford ...
Maud - Molly's Mother
Myarn Lawford ...
Molly's Grandmother
Constable Riggs
Natasha Wanganeen ...
Nina, Dormitory Boss
Garry McDonald ...
Mr. Neal at Moore River
Police Inspector
Lorna Lesley ...
Miss Thomas (as Lorna Leslie)
Celine O'Leary ...
Miss Jessop
Kate Roberts ...
Matron at Moore River


Western Australia, 1931. Government policy includes taking half-caste children from their Aboriginal mothers and sending them a thousand miles away to what amounts to indentured servitude, "to save them from themselves." Molly, Daisy, and Grace (two sisters and a cousin who are 14, 10, and 8) arrive at their Gulag and promptly escape, under Molly's lead. For days they walk north, following a fence that keeps rabbits from settlements, eluding a native tracker and the regional constabulary. Their pursuers take orders from the government's "chief protector of Aborigines," A.O. Neville, blinded by Anglo-Christian certainty, evolutionary world view and conventional wisdom. Can the girls survive? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on a True Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for emotional thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Long Walk Home  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£221,758 (UK) (8 November 2002)


$6,165,429 (USA) (25 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The last scene in the movie, which shows the real-life Molly Craig walking with a walking stick, was shot first. According to Phillip Noyce, during an interview after a screening, Molly's age and health made it so that it would be best if that scene was shot first. See more »


When Moodoo is first seen riding north along the Rabbit-Proof Fence to meet a police constable he's on the west of the fence. Shortly before the actual meeting he's on the east side of the fence. See more »


[Molly, Daisy and Gracie wake up their first morning at Moore River]
Nina, Dormitory Boss: [to them] What's your name? Where you from?
[they don't answer]
Nina, Dormitory Boss: You'll get used to it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The painting songs sung by the Walpiri, Amatjere and Wangajunka women were not sacred songs, but were songs able to be performed in public. See more »


Edited from A Steam Train Passes (1974) See more »


The Masked Masqueraders
Episode 5
Courtesy of 4BC Brisbane
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User Reviews

Superb and Devastating
18 January 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Yes we've seen children-on-the-run films, but such glib commentary demeans this true life drama and its implications in real life. This magnificent and tragic story is yet another must-see in re:the little holocausts that have gone on, even in the most "civilized" nations - in this case Australia. What a touching story of three girls, marvelously portrayed by unknown young actresses, who escape from a horrific government policy, initiated by white supremacist Australia pre-Hitler and Nazi Germany. It is odd to say this is beautifully filmed in the Australian outback... and Kenneth Brannagh, echoing his recent portrayal as Heydrich in "Conspiracy", plays white evil incarnate - a prim bureaucrat diligently doing his government job's mandate - to cleanse Australia of "half breeds" in a most heinous (if not deadly) fashion. It is compelling from beginning to end, and the epilogue is most chilling and bittersweet. Superior and meaningful film making.

42 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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