7.5/10
24,631
251 user 76 critic

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Doris Pilkington Garimara), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 23 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Laura Monaghan ...
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Ningali Lawford ...
Myarn Lawford ...
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Mavis
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Natasha Wanganeen ...
Garry McDonald ...
Mr. Neal at Moore River
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Police Inspector
Lorna Lesley ...
Miss Thomas (as Lorna Leslie)
Celine O'Leary ...
Kate Roberts ...
Matron at Moore River
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for emotional thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

31 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Long Walk Home  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£221,758 (UK) (10 November 2002)

Gross:

$6,165,429 (USA) (27 April 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Everlyn Sampi, (Molly Craig), ran away twice during filming. In one instance, she was found in a phone booth, trying to buy tickets back to Broome. See more »

Goofs

The bush they hide behind when they meet the friendly bushman is the same bush they hide behind later when avoiding the tracker. See more »

Quotes

A.O. Neville: If only they would understand what we are trying to do for them
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Following the Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Jigalong
Vocals by Elsie Thomas, Jewess James, Myarn Lawford,Rosie Goodji, Janganpa Group
Dulcimer [Hammered Dulcimer] and Twelve-String Guitar: Richard Evans
Percussion, Bass [Keyboard Bass]: David Rhodes
Percussion: Ged Lynch
Surdo [Surdu]: Peter Gabriel
Strings: Electra Strings
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User Reviews

 
Top marks to the director
25 September 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This film has quite a few remarkable features. First of all is its title which is rather unusual and immediately grabs one's interest. Next there is the fence itself which runs for thousands of miles to protect what few green plants there are in these desert regions from the voracious appetites of millions of wild rabbits. This fence plays an important role in this true story. Then there is the diector who not only scoured the continent to find three suitable aboriginal girls to play theleads but moulded these inexperienced beginners into the believable characters of Molly, Daisy and Gracie. The director Phillip Noyce has achieved remarkable success in creating three good little performers and should be given full credit for his difficult task.

For those who do not know the desert regions of Australia, it must be said that the "outback" country is harsh and cruel and can only be crossed by those with experience...those with a knowledge of the land. I think the camera makes it clear that the hostile environment is very much like a fence in itself...almost impossible to cross. All the more remarkable therefore that these girls accomplished what they set out to do. May be it was a reckless decision they made but thanks to the fence they found their way back to family and friends.

The film is largely a record of the long trek and the manner in which the children are able to survive. There are not many dramatic moments on their journey south. The children are mainly concerned with avoiding the blacktracker who is following them. The most unforgettable scene comes early in the film when the children are forcibly torn from their mothers. This is truly heart-wrenching stuff.

This thoughtful presentation is worth watching. It is part of Australian history.


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