Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce) Reaction

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.Pilkington1_2898412c

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.  2002_rabbit-proof_fence_004As 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.rabbit-proof-fence-06This 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. 

Picture sources:


‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’: Racism, Kidnapping, and Forced Education Down Under



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