Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Philip Noyce, 2002, Australia (9.2*)

Best Picture, Australian Film Institute
Excellent adventure based on the true story of three girls from Australia's Stolen Generations of mixed-race children forcibly taken from their parents by the authorities in the interest of "aboriginal racial protection". The three sisters escape a school that is really more like an internment camp for juveniles, then head for their clan's outback home 1500 miles away by following the knee-high rabbit-proof fence that keeps rabbits on one side, farms on the other.

Kenneth Branagh has a supporting role as the Chief Protector of the Aborigines (as Mr. Neville, humorously called "Mr. Devil" by the girls). Everlyn Sampi is terrific as the oldest girl, Molly, whose savvy made her an elusive quarry for the white Aussies. This inspiring story is based on true events of 1931, and is taken from the non-fiction book by Doris Pilkington Garimara.

Rabbit-Proof won 21 awards, including Best Picture from the Australian Film Institute and the audience award at seven film festivals, and had another 24 nominations: Awards page at IMDB

If you like this film, it makes a perfect trilogy with the Australian films Walkabout and Australia, and is chronologically the centerpiece film. Aboriginine actor David Gumpilil, who starred in Walkabout, plays the tracker following the girls in Rabbit-Proof.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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