The Rabbit-proof Fence

Setting: Western Australia 1931
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The films begins in Jigalong, which is the hometown for three children; Molly, Gracie and Daisy, who is the main characters in the film. The “protector” of Western Australian Aborigines, A.O. Neville signs an order which says that half-cast children at a certain age shall be removed to camps where they are going to be taught to be servants for whites. These three girls, Molly, Gracie and Daisy are among them ("half-castes" - having one white and one black parent).They are taken away from their mom and their home, and sent to a camp called the Moore River Native Settlement. The three girls decided to escape and follow the rabbit-proof fence home again. A tracker, Moodoo, is sent to find them, but the girls manage to avoid him. Eventually, they found the fence, but Neville finds out that they are following the fence, and sent Moodoo and Riggs (a local constable) after them. We follow the three girls, Molly, Gracie and Daisy as they walk for nine weeks along 1500 miles of the Australian Rabbit-proof fence. Neville spread a rumor which said that Gracie’s mother is waiting for her in a town called Wiluna, so Gracie broke out off the group to catch a train to Wiluna. Molly and Daisy followed after her, but Gracie got caught again before they could get her. Molly and Daisy continues without Gracie. Riggs is waiting for the girls in Jigalong. The Women in Jigalong have been sitting together, singing a special melody a whole day. Riggs seems to think this is frightening, and when Molly’s grandmother pointed at him with a stick, he got afraid and left. Molly and Daisy is reunited with their mother and grandmother.

The film puts a face on the “Stole Generation”.
Government policy includes taking half – caste children away from their aboriginal parents, and sent them thousand miles away to be trained as domestic servants. They are being sent away because they were looked at as a danger to themselves, and they had to be bred out of existence.

The Rabbit-proof fence is based on a true story, so the film reflects how the half-caste children were treated, and how families were split in order to breed out the race. Other themes in the film can be courage and faith, cultural relationships and family bonds.

Molly Craig:
Molly is a fourteen year old girl, who lives with her sister and her mother. Molly is a young aboriginal girl. She has large dark eyes that shows a depth of intelligence and emotion. She is confident, scared, subborn and courageuos at the same time.

Daisy Craig Burungu:
Daisy is eight years old and is Molly's little sister. Both Daisy and Molly has a warn and loving relationship with their mother and grandmother. And are both eager to get home.

Gracie Fields:
Gracie is ten years old and is Molly and Daisy's cousin. Gracie cares a lot about her mother and wants go home, which is why she believed Nevilles lie and left her cousins to find her mother.

Auber Octavius Neville:
Neville (played by Kenneth Branagh) is simply a bureaucrat who believes in his job. He is not evil, he is just a man with a job to do. Mr. Neville was the chief of the project to wash out the genetic material of the aborigines.

Moodoo is an Aboriginal tracker that is specifically employed to recapture the three girls that has escaped. Moodoo also has a daughter at one of the camps. Neville uses Moodoos daughter as leverege, but in the end Moodooo decides to let the girls go.

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What makes the movie”Rabbit-Proof Fence” relevant for this English course?
Our curriculum says that we have to be able to discuss literature by and about natives; it also says that we have to be able to analyze and discuss movies and that we have to be able to discuss social relations, social conditions and values in different cultures. The movie is based on a true story, and it’s about three half-caste Aboriginal children who were taken away from their families and placed in a camp against their will. The movie tells us how the white people treated the Aborigines and the half-casts in the 1930’s, and how they planned to bred them out. The movie fulfills parts of our curriculum since it teaches us a few things about the Aborigines, which are the natives in Australia, and at the same time shows us an important incident in the Aborigines history.