Rabbit-Proof Fence, a film directed by Phillip Noyce, creates an understanding of the land down under during the early 1900s. History, Racism, Realism – this film provides a perspective of three young “half-caste” girls of aboriginal descent who have to suffer through the changing politics of Australia. Being taken from their home for being “half-caste,” aboriginal mixed with white, to “help” assimilate and civilize them into a whitened sense of civilization and customs. These three girls refuse and runaway from the government to return to their homeland and their mothers whom they were taken from.
This perspective and true story produced by Phillip Noyce provides a realist feel of what the girls were experiencing, ranging from panic, desperation, grief, rebellion, hope and prosperity. Noyce produced more than a one sided story revolving around the girls, but the characters affecting the girls as well – Mr. Neville, a government official given responsibility in guardianship of all Aboriginal people through the Aboriginal Act & Moodoo, an aboriginal who is in his own pile of problems and has to work under the government to track and return all “half-caste” children who runaway from the settlements designed to civilize the children. These two characters, though both can be seen as bad guys, are really heroes in their own sense too – Mr. Neville has a vision and only sees what he is doing as an attempt to help the aboriginal people and lacks the understanding of why aboriginal people try to refuse his works; Moodoo, under probation of the law, is forced to track down runaway “half-caste” children as his work for the government, his own daughter being in the grasps of the government and being subjected to the same treatment as the other “half-caste,” he has to suffer through the recollection of his own people through cultural tracking practices passed down in the aboriginal people. As for the cinematic production side of the film, Phillip produces outstanding imagery through use and manipulation of the camera and different cinematic styles varying throughout the film: wide, slow, smooth landscape shots; shaky and quick, panic delivering shots; long, still portraits to capture a character’s essence; first person view to capture the anxieties of the leading roles. All of his styles of choice build and tell the story with a sense of realism, like you’re actually right there with the characters, feeling all that they do too.This true story not only captures and captivates its audience, but puts the audience into the shoes of the characters providing a sense of understanding and perspective rarely felt through story telling. Truly, a must see for film fanatics, students, historians, and the general population hoping to gain a new perspective of the world they live in.