Rabbit Proof Fence is a very interesting an informing movie. I had no idea that the Australian government was trying to systematically get rid of the aborigines nor did I know about their treatment. The whole thing just seems very strange and unbelievable. According to the case study, in 1770 when James Cook arrived in Australia their were a large amount of Aborigines. But within a short amount of time 80% of the population was dead. This event is very similar to what happened in North American to the Native Americans. The textbook claims that Aborigines are in a conflict known as the ‘History Wars’, which is a fight for the native Australians to tell their story of colonization. However Rabbit Proof Fence takes place more than a hundred years later during a post colonialism time and the focus is on the half-caste kids.
From 1869 to 1970 half-caste aboriginal children were removed from their homes and placed in Christian settlements. This we as mostly done out of fear for a third race not black or white but mixed. In theory, if the mixed children were to breed with whites the fourth generation would not possess any aboriginal traits and ‘pass’ as whites. Implemented by A.O. Neville, ironically the Chief Protector of Aborigines. This is unbelievable and disturbing that this lasted almost 100 years. In the film, Molly, Gracie, and Daisy are literally torn out of their mother’s arms and sent 1,500 miles away to Moore River. Upon arriving at the camp, the girls do not fit in and fail to submit the rules. In one instance the girls are talking in their native tongue and a nun quickly tells them to speak only English. The nuns want the half-caste children to completely rid themselves of their heritage. In another scene Neville is seen inspecting the skin color of the children. From the input of another child at the camp, we learn that the white children are seen as more intelligent are given special schooling privileges. I thought this scene was odd and unbelievable. It really showcases how ignorant Neville really was.
Eventually the girls escape and begin the 1,500-mile journey back home. At the camp we were introduced to the character Moodoo. He is seen bringing back a girl who attempted to escape. Exactly as the textbook states, Moodoo fits the stereotype of the tracker who is “hired by the whites to navigate the unrelenting terrain.” That’s precisely what Moodoo does, he tracks runaways. He is also “conflicted with his heritage.” In one scene, he is talking with Neville about leaving the camp. He begins to stare at his daughter and Neville stated that he couldn’t leave yet. He also states that there is no chance his daughter can leave with him. Although he hardly speaks throughout the film it is clear that Moodoo has complications with his heritage. The textbook also brings up the less common postcolonial troupe. The Australian media slandered Aboriginal communities with negative traits such as uneducated, unemployed and violent drug users. In the film Mavis portrays this caricature. Mavis is the mix raced servant who is repeatedly raped. This completely violates conventional fetishization because the roles are reversed race wise.
Overall Rabbit Proof Fence was a very interesting movie and the case study only made it more fascinating. It’s a little disturbing that the girls were brought back and had to do the 1,500-mile two more times. Its also disturbing how they took Molly’s baby from her and she never saw her again. It’s an unbleivalbe story and Rabbit Proof Fence does a nice job of informing how Australia once treated the