Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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Director: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, David Gulpilil, Kenneth Branagh


Western Australia, 1931: a civil servant responsible for aboriginals implements a policy of segregating half-castes so that the 'dark' blood can be reabsorbed by white society. When he separates three girls from their mother/aunt at a fence construction depot, and removes them to an institution for half-caste habilitation, they run away and start on a 1200-mile walk northwards along the eponymous fence.

The Review

Laconic, semi-mystical true-life odyssey; very moving and filmically conceived in aerial, 'eagle's eye' travelling shots and close-quarter p.o.v.s, with convincingly ethnic threnodies on the music track courtesy of Peter Gabriel. Branagh plays Neville exactly like Eichman in the Swansee film, but the film just avoids demonizing him, and the kids are superb.