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Critical Analysis of The Movie Rabbit Proof Fence

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Directed and produced by Phillip Noyce, Rabbit Proof Fence released on 4th February 2002. Starring Everlyn Sampi (Molly Craig) and Tianna Sansbury (Daisy Craig Kadibill), the movie revolves around the epic journey of two sisters Molly (14 years old) and Daisy (8 years old) and their cousin Gracie (10 years old) where they are trying to escape Moore River Native Settlement where they are confined forcefully after getting uprooted from their mother, Maude (played by Ningali Lawford).

Molly, Daisy and Gracie reside in town of Jigalong situated in Western Australia. It lies along the fence connecting to the rabbit-proof fence that runs for over several thousand miles. A.O. Neville (Mr. Devil), The official Protector of Western Australian Aborigines, passes an order to relocate the three girls to the Moore River Native Settlement because he considers the girls as “half castes” (having one aboriginal and one white parent). He believes that the Aboriginal people of Australia are a threat to themselves and they must be bred out of existence, thus appropriately referred as Mr. Devil by the girls. His agenda is to keep the three girls along with other “half castes” of similar age group in the camp where they will grow up and become servants to the rich white families. And if people in the camp eventually end up getting married (to white people) the Aboriginal blood will diminish from the soil of Australia. During their stay at the camp, Molly notices rain clouds up in the sky and comes up with a plan to escape the settlement as she believes that the rain will mask their tracks making it almost impossible to follow them accurately. Daisy and Gracie decide to flee with Molly thus embarking on the unthinkable and unimaginable voyage of 1500 miles, barefoot.

After noticing the girls’ absence from the camp, Moodoo, an experienced Aboriginal tracker is hired to track the girls. Nonetheless Moodoo’s efforts to find them, the girls do a really good job disguising the tracks and escape Moodoo a lot of times with little help from fellow Australian people in the country. The girls end up finding the Rabbit Proof Fence and starts to follow along it as they are familiar that the fence being so large connects to their town of Jigalong. However, Neville is quick to realize their strategy and sends Moodoo after them. Moodoo fails yet another time and hence Neville changes his plan and spreads a false word that Gracie’s mother is waiting for her in the town of Wiluna. The Aboriginal traveler who helps the girls informs Gracie about her mother and gets her on a train to Wiluna thus separating Gracie from Molly and Daisy. Gracie gets captured again at the station and Molly and Daisy recommence their journey knowing they are no match to Neville’s power and position and hence are unable to rescue Gracie. After walking for several thousand miles, Molly and Daisy finally return home and Neville eventually gives up and ends the search for them. In the epilogue of the movie, it is revealed that Grace has died and hence never returned to Jigalong. Molly along with her two daughters were once again taken to Moore river where she managed to escape with only one of her daughters, Anabelle. Molly describes that she had to walk along the Rabbit Proof Fence once again to return home. However, when Anabelle turned three, she was uprooted from her mother one more time and Molly never saw her again.

As we discussed in the class, although the film has the same seed of idea with white people’s atrocities on native people, it is quite different from typical films on indigenous people that we have seen thus far. It has a totally different storyline with female protagonist and set up in a country other than America.

Writer of the article “Changing the Rules of Engagement”, Sabra G. Thorner, says that Rabbit Proof Fence urges the audience to rethink the role of ethnographic media in our increasingly interconnected social lives. Thorner also mentions that Rabbit Proof Fence shows the perspectives of native women in Australia about the whole confinement in the camp. The movie did a great job in symbolizing women empowerment in many ways and is in fact a tight slap on the faces of the so called dominant “men” society.

Makin an adaptation of a book into a film is never an easy task. Director Philip Noyce shot the film with so much dedication which is evident in almost all of the scenes in the film such as the scene when the girls are torn apart from their mother, scenes involving aboriginal kids having supper at the camp, girls running along the fence and many more. The screenplay of the movie is written in a beautiful manner which keeps the audience gripped throughout the entire movie. All in all, Rabbit Proof Fence is a must watch heartwarming movie that takes you on a thrilling ride full of emotions and feelings. 

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Critical Analysis Of The Movie Rabbit Proof Fence. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from
“Critical Analysis Of The Movie Rabbit Proof Fence.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
Critical Analysis Of The Movie Rabbit Proof Fence. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jan. 2022].
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