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Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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In 1931, three half-white, half-Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their houses to be trained as domestic staff, and set off on a journey across the Outback.

Director:

Phillip Noyce

Writers:

Doris Pilkington (book) (as Doris Pilkington Garimara), Christine Olsen (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 23 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Everlyn Sampi ... Molly Craig
Tianna Sansbury ... Daisy Craig Kadibill
Laura Monaghan Laura Monaghan ... Gracie Fields
David Gulpilil ... Moodoo
Ningali Lawford Ningali Lawford ... Maud - Molly's Mother
Myarn Lawford Myarn Lawford ... Molly's Grandmother
Deborah Mailman ... Mavis
Jason Clarke ... Constable Riggs
Kenneth Branagh ... A.O. Neville
Natasha Wanganeen Natasha Wanganeen ... Nina, Dormitory Boss
Garry McDonald Garry McDonald ... Mr. Neal at Moore River
Roy Billing ... Police Inspector
Lorna Lesley Lorna Lesley ... Miss Thomas (as Lorna Leslie)
Celine O'Leary Celine O'Leary ... Miss Jessop
Kate Roberts Kate Roberts ... Matron at Moore River
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Storyline

Western Australia, 1931. Government policy includes taking half-white, half-Aboriginal 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 fourteen, ten, and eight) arrive at their Gulag and promptly escape, under Molly's lead. For several 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:

If the government tore you away from your family, would you walk the 1500 miles back home? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for emotional thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hanway Films

Country:

Australia

Language:

Aboriginal | English

Release Date:

31 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Long Walk Home See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,352, 1 December 2002

Gross USA:

$6,199,600

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,217,411
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the phone rang at Director Phillip Noyce's house in Los Angeles, California at 3 a.m. in July 1999, he thought it was an emergency and answered it. It wasn't. It was Screenwriter Christine Olsen. Noyce recalled: "There was this strange Australian female voice on the other end of the phone announcing she had the perfect script for which I was the perfect director, and I said to her I get so many people who ring and tell me that every week, but most of them do it in the middle of the day. I told her to ring back tomorrow or the next day at my office." Noyce doubted she'd call again. But she did, and she sent the script. See more »

Goofs

Far into the story the film shows the view from Mr. Neville's office window, allowing us to see a few applicants. Among those is a couple whose application had been rejected early in the story by Mr. Neville. Obviously the same set served different scenes that were far apart in time. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in South Australia: Ocean to Outback (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)
(1851) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by the children and staff at the Moore River Settlement
See more »

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User Reviews

 
True and important film!
25 February 2003 | by rosscinemaSee all my reviews

This is a very powerful film from the wonderful Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American) and its based on the shameful history in Australia where aborigine children were taken by force from their families and tribes to camps and taught to be servants. In the film 3 sisters escape and venture to walk 1,500 miles back to their tribe. The title refers to a fenceline that stretches for thousands of miles and the girls follow it. The wonderful aborigine actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout) plays a scout that is tracking the girls and Kenneth Branaugh plays an officer that is in charge of the whole operation. I guess the main flaw in the film would be the middle where most of the walking takes place and the film really slows down but its not a major complaint. The 1,500 mile trek is expertly paced and the film is by no means dull. Rather, its fascinating! The real footage that we see at the end of the film is so powerful that the whole essence of what you have just watched becomes even more devastating. This is more than just an important film, its a documentation of an ugly and shameful part of Australian history. A must see!


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