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Rabbit Proof Fence

1500 Miles Is A Long Way Home  

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

A fence bisects Australia - a rabbit-proof one - and Molly (Sampi) knows that if she follows it for long enough, she'll get home. She leads her younger sister and their cousin for weeks, all the time pursued by the police and an Aboriginal tracker, who gradually comes to sympathise with them.

Rabbit-Proof Fence tells a true story. In the 1930s, the Australian government took mixed race children - forcibly if necessary - from their families, to be re-educated as domestic servants. There was also a plan to choose their marriage partners so as to remove the Aborigine 'taint'. Molly, Daisy (Sansbury) and Gracie (Monaghan) have been essentially abducted and placed in a grim training camp run by harsh, strict nuns.

The government is represented by A.O. Neville (Branagh), who was at the time the chief protector of the Aborigines. BranaghÕs performance is full of light and shade: Neville clearly believes that he is doing the best thing - for the children by re-educating them, but he outlines his plan to 'breed out the colour' with a chilling lack of feeling. Always shown at work, often in his dingy office , Neville appears as a man whose good intentions have been perverted by the pressure of bureaucracy.

Sophie Rivenhall

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)