I watched this excellent movie on VCR last night. The beginning unnerved me; I was afraid it would be disturbingly sad. It's certainly poignant, but ultimately uplifting. Here's Rotten Tomatoes' synopsis:
Set in Australia in 1931, RABBIT-PROOF FENCE tells the story of a government policy [link added] that required "half-caste" children (whose mothers were Aboriginal and whose fathers were white) to be taken from their homes by the authorities to be trained to work as servants. Based on the true story of Molly Craig, Philip Noyce's film of small gestures and few words follows the odyssey of three young girls who escaped from the government's training facility and, using the country's long stretches of rabbit-proof fences as their guide, walked 1500 miles to get back home.
Told squarely from Molly's point of view, RABBIT-PROOF FENCE also highlights the Australian government's treatment of Aboriginies by A. O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), the legal guardian of the country's indigenous people. His plan to "breed out" the Aboriginal blood of the half-castes is marked by a cool calculation and moral blindness that stands out in sharp contrast to Molly's spiritual and intuitive relationship to the people and places she encounters on her journey.
The real Molly, who died earlier this year, and her sister, Daisy, make an appearance at the very end. The truth of the story is a subject of some debate. Nonetheless it is a powerful film and demonstrates well the truth of the adage that "If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life" (attributed to Henry David Thoreau by William H. Whyte, Jr.).
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