7.5/10
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252 user 63 critic

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 ... 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:

What if the government kidnapped your daughter? 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, 27 November 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,165,429, 27 April 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the character of A.O Neville, played by Sir Kenneth Branagh, Director Phillip Noyce observed that: "The sense of moral justification that Neville felt for his racist actions could have been lost in a lesser actor's performance. This was a balance we were especially concerned with realizing on-screen. But even our best efforts could have been in vein if the wrong actor had been given the responsibility of bringing it to life." This added dimension transforms Neville into an even more threatening villain. "Nothing can be more terrifying than a man who really believes that what he is doing is right, who kills with his kindness", he continued. 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

Moodoo: This girl is clever. She wants to go home.
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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

Featured in South Australia: ocean to outback (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Map
Piano by Richard Evans
Violin [Double Violin]: Shankar
Didgeridoo: Ganga Giri
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Top marks to the director
25 September 2003 | by raymond-15See 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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