Rabbit Proof Fence Essay Journeys

Rabbit Proof Fence Essay Journeys-59
Rabbit-Proof Fence, her second book, is now a major motion picture from Miramax Films, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Kenneth Branagh.The most astonishing words in "Rabbit-Proof Fence" come right at the end, printed on the screen as a historical footnote.

Rabbit-Proof Fence, her second book, is now a major motion picture from Miramax Films, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Kenneth Branagh.The most astonishing words in "Rabbit-Proof Fence" come right at the end, printed on the screen as a historical footnote.

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But why could the mixed-race children not stay where they were? One is that a half-white child must be rescued from a black society.

Another was that too many "white genes" would by their presumed superiority increase the power and ability of the aborigines to cause trouble by insisting on their rights.

The policies depicted in the movie were enforced by the Australian government, we are told, until 1970.

Aboriginal children of mixed race were taken by force from their mothers and raised in training schools that would prepare them for lives as factory workers or domestic servants.

The girls headed for the nearby rabbit-proof fence that stretched over 1,000 miles through the desert toward their home.

Their journey lasted over a month, and they survived on everything from emus to feral cats, while narrowly avoiding the police, professional trackers, and hostile white settlers.When they tried to use their own language, they were told to stop "jabbering." At the time of the adventures in the movie, Molly (Everlyn Sampi) is 14, Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) is 8 and Gracie (Laura Monaghan) is 10.The school where they are held is not a Dickensian workhouse; by the standards of the time, it is not unkind (that it inflicts the unimaginable pain of separation from family and home does not figure into the thinking of the white educators).At the settlement, Milly and her relatives Gracie and Daisy were forbidden to speak their native language, forced to abandon their aboriginal heritage, and taught to be culturally white.After regular stays in solitary confinement, the three girls scared and homesick planned and executed a daring escape from the grim camp, with its harsh life of padlocks, barred windows, and hard cold beds.The children affected are known today in Australia as the Stolen Generations. The screenplay by Christine Olsen is based on a book by Doris Pilkington, telling the story of the experiences of her mother, Molly, her aunt Daisy and their cousin Gracie.The current Australian government of Prime Minster John Howard actually still refuses to apologize for these policies. Torn from their families by government officials, they were transported some 1,500 miles to a training school, where they huddled together in fear and grief, separated from everyone and everything they had ever known.The biggest issue with teaching Australian films is the inherent problem that many students (and teachers) approach them as being boring, dull, or bad.Rather than engage with the films, most view the experience as a civic duty that one must simply 'endure'.The girls cannot abide this strange and lonely place.They run away, are captured, are placed in solitary confinement. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), who in 1931 was the administrator of the relocation policies and something of an amateur eugenicist, with theories of race and breeding that would have won him a ready audience in Nazi Germany.

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