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English

Rabbit Proof Fence

Directed by Phillip Noyce, Australia 2002, 94 min

Western Australia, 1931. Government policy includes taking half-caste children from their Aboriginal mothers and sending them a thousand miles away to re-education camps, ‘to save them from themselves’.

Australian government policy was to take the aboriginal children from their homes, to train them as domestic workers and integrate them into white society. Only decades later, these children would become known as Australia's ‘Stolen Generations’.  The movie tells the story of young Molly Craig, who decides to lead her little sister and cousin in a daring escape from their internment camp. For 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. Neville's reasoning is portrayed as being that the Aboriginal peoples of Australia are a danger to themselves, and that the "half-castes" must be bred out of existence.

Introduction/aftertalk by Nelleke Bakker, associated professor of educational research history.

Interesting links
YouTube: Trailer Rabbit Proof Fence
Rotten Tomatoes: Critic reviews
Wikipedia: Stolen Generations
Historical footage and interviews with Indigenous people

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