Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou
Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Australia, 2002. Rumbalara Films, The Australian Film Commission, Australian Film Finance Corporation, Lotteries Commission of Western Australia, Olsen Levy, Showtime Australia. Screenplay by Christine Olsen, based on the book Follow The Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington. Cinematography by Christopher Doyle. Produced by Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen, John Winter. Music by Peter Gabriel. Production Design by Roger Ford. Costume Design by Roger Ford. Film Editing by Veronika Jenet, John Scott. Golden Globe Awards 2002. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
In 1930s Western Australia, natives with mixed ancestry (referred to as “half-castes”) were removed from their parental homes and sent to a camp where they were prepared for life as domestic servants in the homes of white families. The purposes of this project commandeered by the government’s Aborigine protector A.O. Neville (labelled quite rightly by the natives as Mr. Devil) was supposedly for the genetic cleansing of all dark races on the continent and their introduction to the superiority of being white. Three little girls who are stolen from their homes and put in this camp have absolutely no intention of staying, and with the first chance they get, escape the place and walk over a thousand miles in order to get home. Using Australia’s giant world record-setting rabbit-proof fence as a guide, they follow their path until they can be reunited with their mother once more. This stunning, harrowing film tells of a very dark chapter in Australian history (that by all accounts isn’t necessarily over with) by using the true story of three women (two of whom still live today) and their extraordinary tale of survival. Excellent acting and strong direction by Phillip Noyce.