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The movies “Skin” and “Rabbit Proof Fence” are very interesting films based on true stories. The two movies were also filmed outside of the United States of America; “Skin” was filmed in Africa and “Rabbit Proof Fence” was filmed in Australia. Both stories are very similar but have some obvious differences. Both stories took place from 1930-1950’s and took place when racism and segregation was at its peak in certain parts of Africa and Australia. There are trials and tribulations displayed in each film that these people went through in real life and both films are true eye openers.
The movie “Skin” is about a woman named Sandra Laing who was born in South Africa in the 1950s during the apartheid. Sandra’s biological parents are both white, but somehow she turned out to look like a light-skinned black girl. She lived in a racially divided homeland, where the authorities have trouble identifying her race. This makes it hard for her to live a normal life and be understood by her own family. In the end, she finally reaches a point where she is rightfully identified by authorities, locates her mother, and shares a great moment of resolution and emotion; she is finally happy. This movie is based on a true story.
The movie “Rabbit Proof Fence” is also based on a true story and is about two sisters Molly and Daisy and one cousin Gracie who are taken away from their families in 1931 to be trained to become domestic servants for the Australian government. The girls decide that they hate being at the training camp and decide to make a very risky escape from the training camp after seeing a failed escape from another girl and travel 1,500 miles back home while following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the continent of Australia and almost being caught multiple times and dodging the authorities and “the tracker” along the way back home. Molly and Daisy actually make it back without being caught and this part is not in the movie but Molly ends up being sent back to the training camp and making the journey back home again by herself.
Both movies display a lot of courage. Sandra Laing had the courage to disobey her parents for her own happiness and escape a violent husband. In her life she had to deal with a lot of trials and tribulations but that did not stop her from living a hard working life and ultimately being happy at the end. Same goes for Molly, Daisy, and Gracie, they were forced away from their parents, saw someone fail at escaping the camp and be disciplined, but that still did not stop them from escaping and finding their parents after the trials and tribulations of that 1,500 mile journey. The courage that all four displayed is very inspiring and motivating.
The movie “Skin” is more relatable to the U.S. What I mean by that is that our country has witnessed racism and segregation at its peak and there are many people of color who were in the same shoes as Sandra Laing and faced problems very similar to the problems she faced. Many people have faced racism and segregation, but not as many have been forced away from their families and traveled 1,500 miles on foot to get back to them. “Rabbit Proof Fence” is one of those rare stories that will truly amaze you. Whereas “Skin” is one of those stories that opens your eyes and makes you emotional and makes you say “wow.”
Both stories take place at the right time. If it were now, given all the technology and advancements, the escape and successful journey of the three girls in “Rabbit Proof Fence” might not have been possible. The tracker would have been driving a car, they would have a helicopter in the air searching for the girls, and who ever saw the girls probably would have called and told the authorities where the girls were. So I’m not sure if the girls would have made it home, they would have to be cleverer and it would have taken a lot more of their energy. Same thing goes for the movie “Skin.” Sandra would have had an much easier life because it would be easier identifying her and whenever she wanted to contact or find her parents all she would haven to do is go on a website to locate where they live then call, text, or email them.
I found both stories very interesting because of all of the things I’ve learned from both stories and how I felt the emotions of the films. I have never known that segregation and racism in some parts of Africa and Australia was the same as segregation and racism in the USA at that time. The courage and bravery shown in the two films were incredible. It felt like I could imagine myself in their shoes and that I was in the movies. There are definitely more similarities than differences between the two movies and I wouldn’t mind watching both movies again. It’s crazy to imagine that both films are based on true stories, but that just goes to show you that stuff like that happened and we should remember the past to better the future. Both stories taught valuable lessons and in the end made me want to do some research on them. They definitely opened my eyes and gave me a good understanding of life in Africa and Australia in those times.
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