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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 22,540 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


The True Story of a Family That Defied a Nation. 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?


Doris Pilkington, author of the book "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence", is the daughter of Molly Craig (played by Everlyn Sampi in the film). See more »


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 »


Gracie Fields: [in native language to her cousins] New clothes!
Miss Jessop: [in English] This is your new home. We don't use that jabber here. You speak English.
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 »


Featured in Reel Injun (2009) See more »


All Things Bright and Beautiful
(1848) (uncredited)
Music by William H. Monk
Lyrics by Cecil F. Alexander, from "Hymns for Little Children" (1838)
Sung offscreen in church at the Moore River Settlement
See more »

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User Reviews

So much with so little.
30 April 2003 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

Few films have garnered so much applause (from critics and public alike) with so little. The plot of "Rabbit Proof Fence" can be found elsewhere on this website. Suffice it to say it's about three girls walking and walking and walking and walking and....across some of the most visually austere country on the planet; the Aussie outback. There's little story behind the film, zilch for Hollywood tinsel, and a minimal cast of relative unknowns (except for Branagh's small role). It would be easy to make the case that this film is one long boring flick. However, it would also be easy to make the case it is a beautifully filmed story of courage, determination, and the triumph of the human spirit. I would argue the latter. (B+)

50 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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