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
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 »
This film uses stock footage from the film A Steam Train Passes. However, the film is set in the 1930s, and the locomotive in said film, NSWGR 3801, wasn't built until 1943. See more »
[first spoken lines]
[v.o., in native language]
This is a true story - story of my sister Daisy, my cousin Gracie and me when we were little. Our people, the Jigalong mob, we were desert people then, walking all over our land. My mum told me about how the white people came to our country. They made a storehouse here at Jigalong - brought clothes and other things - flour, tobacco, tea. Gave them to us on ration day. We came there, made a camp nearby. They were building a long fence.
See more »
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 »
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!
70 of 82 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this