Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)

Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)

Infobox Film
name = Rabbit-Proof Fence

image_size =
caption =
director = Phillip Noyce
producer = Phillip Noyce
Christine Olsen
John Winter
writer = Doris Pilkington (book)
Christine Olsen
narrator =
starring = Everlyn Sampi,
Kenneth Branagh
David Gulpilil
music = Peter Gabriel
cinematography = Christopher Doyle
editing = Veronika Jenet
John Scott
distributor = Miramax Films
released = flagicon|Australia 4 February 2002
flagicon|UK 8 November 2002
flagicon|USA 29 November 2002
runtime = 94 min
country = Australia
language = English
budget = US$6,000,000 (estimated)
gross = US$6,165,429 (USA subtotal)
£1,368,188 (UK subtotal)
AUD 7,510,545 (Australia subtotal)
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:262133
imdb_id = 0252444

"Rabbit-Proof Fence" is a 2002 Australian drama film based on the book "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Doris Pilkington Garimara. It is a true story concerning the author's mother, as well as two other young mixed-race Aboriginal girls, who ran away from the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth, in order to return to their Aboriginal families, after having been placed there in 1931. The film follows the girls as they trek/walk for nine weeks along convert|1500|mi|km of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their community at Jigalong, while being tracked by a white authority figure and a black tracker.cite web |title= Rabbit-Proof Fence Title Details |publisher= National Film and Sound Archive |url= http://colsearch.nfsa.afc.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A507777%20Media%3A%22FILM%22;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 |accessdate= 2007-07-28]

The soundtrack to the film, called "", is by Peter Gabriel.

Phillip Noyce's search for the Aboriginal actresses who star in the film is described in detail in the "Making Of" on the DVD.

The book

The book, "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence",* cite book | last = Pilkington Garimara | first = Doris| title = Follow the rabbit-proof fence | publisher = University of Queensland Press | date = 2001| location = St Lucia, Qld| Type = Fiction | id = ISBN 0702232815] was written as the second book in a trilogy by Doris Pilkington Garimara, documenting her family's stories.cite journal |last= Brewster |first= Anne |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= "The Stolen Generations: Rites of Passage: Doris Pilkington interviewed by Anne Brewster (22 January 2005) |journal= The Journal of Commonwealth Literature |volume= 42 |issue= No 1 |pages= 143–159 |date= 2007 |url= |doi= |id= |accessdate= 2007-07-25 ] "Caprice, a Stockman's Daughter", was the first book published and won the David Unaipon Award as part of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards in 1990. In 2002, Doris Pilkington Garimara wrote the third book, "Under the Wintamarra Tree", about her own life.

The screenplay was published as "Rabbit-Proof Fence: the screenplay" Adapted from the book "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Doris Polkington Garimara. Strawberry Hills, N.S.W. : Currency Press, 2002.

Public reaction and criticism

The film formed a part of a major debate in contemporary Australia over the stolen generations - where Aboriginal children separated from their parents by the State were taken to residential schools. A.O. Neville, who was portrayed in the film, was the Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia at the time and was responsible for removing the girls from their families.

The film stirred debate over the historical accuracy of the claims of the stolen generation. Some, like Andrew Bolt,cite web |title= Rabbit-proof myths |publisher= bolta@heraldsun.com.au |url= http://members.optushome.com.au/jimball/Rabbitproofmyth.html |accessdate= 2007-07-28] cite web |title= Australian Journalist Questions ‘Stolen Generation’, by Ian S. McIntosh |publisher= European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights |url= http://www.eniar.org/news/Bolt.html |accessdate= 2007-07-26 ] criticised the portrayal of Neville in the film, arguing that he was inaccurately represented as paternalistic and racist. Bolt also questioned the artistic portrayal in the film of the girls as prisoners in prison garb, chased by dogs and state troopers. He claimed that, in fact, they had been dressed in civilian clothes and tracked by concerned adults fearful of their welfare. He also claimed that when Molly Craig, whose journey was being told, saw the film, she stated that it was "not my story".

That the story is based on historically true events is not in doubt. The film tells the story from the point of view of the girls and its supporters argue that it is a fair dramatic representation of events as told in the book. It is documented that Molly had a child who was taken away by the authorities.

On 13 February 2008, Australian government offered a formal apology to the "stolen generations".

On its release, the film was shown around the world and won critical acclaim, being nominated for and winning many awards, including those voted on by audiences.

In the film, two of the three sisters are successful. The other sister returns to the school after being tricked.

Film Cast

* Everlyn Sampi as Molly Craig
* Tianna Sansbury as Daisy Burungu
* Laura Monaghan as Gracie Fields
* Kenneth Branagh as A. O. Neville
* David Gulpilil as Moodoo
* Deborah Mailman as Mavis

Awards and Nominations

Australian Awards

: 2001 - Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.cite news |title= Premier's Literary Awards website |url= http://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/awardsevents/awards/Queensland_Premiers_Literary_awards/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Film Script - the Pacific Film and Television Commission Award (Christine Olsen)cite news |title= Queensland Premier's Literary Awards |url= http://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/awardsevents/awards/Queensland_Premiers_Literary_awards/Past_Winners/|date= June 26, June] : 2002 - Australian Film Institute Awardscite news |title= Australian Film Institute website |url=http://www.afi.org.au/|date= June 29, 2007] ::* Best Film (Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen, John Winter)::* Best Original Music Score (Peter Gabriel)::* Best Sound (Bronwyn Murphy, Craig Carter, Ricky Edwards, John Penders): 2002 - Film Critics Circle of Australia Awardscite news |title= Film Critics Circle of Australia website |url= http://www.fcca.com.au/|date= June 29, 2007] ::* Best Director (Phillip Noyce)::* Best Screenplay - Adapted (Christine Olsen): 2002 - Inside Film Awardscite news |title=Lexus Inside Film Awards website |url= http://www.ifawards.com/|date= June 29, 2007] ::* Best Actress (Everlyn Sampi)::* Best Production Design (Roger Ford): 2002 - New South Wales Premier's History Awardscite web |title= NSW Premier's History Awards 2002 |publisher= NSW Ministry for the Arts |url= http://www.arts.nsw.gov.au/awards/historyawards/2002%20hist/2002awards.htm |accessdate= 2007-07-17] : shortlisted for the The Premier's Young People's History Prize (Christine Olsen and Phillip Noyce)

International Awards

: 2002 (USA) - Aspen Filmfestcite news |title= Aspen Film website |url= http://www.aspenfilm.org/ |date= June 28, 2007] : Audience Award, Audience Favourite Featurecite news |title= 2002 Aspen Film Awards |url= http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Aspen_Filmfest/2002 |date= June 29, 2007] (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (Switzerland) - Castellinaria International Festival of Young Cinema,cite news |title= Castellinaria International Festival of Young Cinema |url= http://www.castellinaria.ch/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* ASPI Award (Phillip Noyce)::* Golden Castle (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (USA) - The 2002 Starz Encore Denver International Film Festival,cite news |title= Denver International Film website |url= http://www.denverfilm.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] : People's Choice Award: Best Feature-Length Fiction Film (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (South Africa) - Durban International Film Festivalcite news |title= Durban International Film Festival website |url= http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Audience Award (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (UK) - Edinburgh International Film Festivalcite news |title= Edinburg International Film Festival website |url= http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Audience Award (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (UK) - Leeds International Film Festivalcite news |title= Leeds International Film Festival website |url= http://www.leedsfilm.com/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Audience Award (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (USA) - National Board of Review Awards 2002cite news |title= The National Board of Review, USA website |url= http://www.nbrmp.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* Freedom of Expression Award::* Best Director (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (USA) - San Francisco Film Critics Circlecite news |title=San Francisco Film Critics Circle website |url= http://www.sffcc.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* Special Citation (Phillip Noyce, Also for "The Quiet American" (2002))::* Audience Award: Best Foreign Film (Phillip Noyce): 2002 (Spain) - Valladolid International Film Festivalcite news |title=Valladolid International Film Festival website |url= http://www.seminci.com/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Audience Award: Feature Film (Phillip Noyce): 2003 (UK) - London Critics Circle Film Awards (ALFS)cite news |title= The Critics Circle |url= http://criticscircle.org.uk/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Director of the Year (Phillip Noyce, also for "The Quiet American" (2002)): 2003 (Brazil) - São Paulo International Film Festivalcite news |title = São Paulo International Film Festival website |url=http://www.mostra.org/ |date=June 29, 2007] : Audience Award: Best Foreign Film (Phillip Noyce)

Award Nominations

: 2002 (Australia) - Australian Film Institute Nominationscite news |title= Australian Film Institute website |url= http://www.afi.org.au/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* Best Actor in a Supporting Role (David Gulpilil)::* Best Cinematography (Christopher Doyle)::* Best Costume Design (Roger Ford)::* Best Direction (Phillip Noyce)::* Best Editing (Veronika Jenet, John Scott)::* Best Production Design (Roger Ford)::* Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Source (Christine Olsen): 2002 (Australia) - Film Critics Circle of Australia Nominationscite news |title= Film Critics Circle of Australia website |url= http://www.fcca.com.au/ |date= June 29, 2007] Australia::* Best Actor - Female (Everlyn Sampi)::* Best Cinematography (Christopher Doyle)::* Best Film::* Best Music Score (Peter Gabriel): 2002 (Poland) - Camerimage - 2002 International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematographycite news |title= Camerimage website |url= http://www.camerimage.pl/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Golden Frog (Christopher Doyle): 2002 (USA) - Golden Trailer Award Nominationsdncite news |title= Golden Trailer Awards website |url= http://www.goldentrailer.com/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Golden Trailer: Best Independent: 2003 (USA) - Golden Globe Nominationscite news |title=Golden Globe Awards website |url= http://www.hfpa.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Golden Globe: Best Original Score - Motion Picture (Peter Gabriel): 2003 (USA) - Motion Picture Sound Editors Nomination [cite news |title= Motion Picture Sound Editor website |url= http://www.mpse.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] : Golden Reel Award: Best Sound Editing in Foreign Features (Juhn Penders, Craig Carter, Steve Burgess, Ricky Edwards, Andrew Plain): 2003 (USA) - Political Film Society Awardscite news |title= Political Film Society website |url= http://www.geocities.com/~polfilms/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* Exposé::* Human Rights: 2003 (USA) - Young Artist Awardscite news |title= Young Artists Award website |url= http://www.youngartistawards.org/ |date= June 29, 2007] ::* Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress (Everlyn Sampi)::* Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Under (Tianna Sansbury)

Classifications and rating

The film is rated PG by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia). [ [http://www.classification.gov.au/special.html?n=46&p=156&sTitle=Rabbit-Proof+Fence&sMediaFilm=1&sMediaPublications=1&sMediaGames=1&sDateFromM=1&sDateFromY=1970&sDateToM=1&sDateToY=2008&record=178758 Rabbit-Proof Fence] , Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia).]

Film Reviews

* [http://www.ipe.net.au/RPFence.html "A rabbit-proof fence full of holes"] , "The Australian", March 11, 2002. Critique by Peter Howson (Minister for Aboriginal affairs in 1971 and 1972) and Des Moore (director of the Institute for Private Enterprise)
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/10/16/rabbit_proof_fence_2002_review.shtml Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) Reviewed by Jamie Russell, October 16, 2002] BBC Film Review (Retrieved 28 July 2007)
* [http://www.infilm.com.au/reviews/rabbitproof.htm Rabbit Proof Fence, Review by Luke Buckmaster] In Film Australia (Retrieved 28 July 2007)




ee also

*South Australian Film Corporation

External links

* [http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Stories/rabbit_frame.html Phillip Noyce's Shooting Diary]
* [http://www.iofilm.co.uk/feats/interviews/r/rabbit_proof_fence_2002.shtml Phil Noyce Interview]
* [http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/2006/07/23/ Bolt on Stolen Generation]
* [http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/19/rabbit.html Villella, Fiona A. (2002) "Long road home: Phillip Noyce's "Rabbit-Proof Fence" in "Senses of Cinema" March 2002] Accessed: 2007-07-27
* [http://www.film.org.au/rabbitproof.htm film.org.au: the best of Australian Films]

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