Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

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Beautiful desert

It is here that Molly is born to an Aboriginal mother, Maude, and a white father, a worker on the rabbit-proof fence. The fence is a symbol of colonisation. It seeks to tame the land and keep out the introduced scourge of rabbits, but it also becomes a link between worlds. The fence was built in to stop rabbits migrating into Western Australia from the east, but there ended up being more on the WA side of the fence than on the South Australian.

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It provides a graphic example of the failed attempts by Europeans to understand their new environment and brings home the fact that European impact could not be tempered. Depots like Jigalong were established as part of maintaining the fence.

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Molly is the first half-caste born at Jigalong. Her cousins, Gracie and Daisy, follow. Half-castes become a distinct part of the community and represent the conundrum of being caught between two worlds.

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence | Independent Publishers Group

And so the wheels of removal are set in motion and the girls are designated to the Moore River Settlement. Unlike the heart-wrenching scene in the movie where the children are ripped from the community, in the book, Molly and Gracie are given over almost as a fait accompli with Daisy later joining them , but the loss is no less heart-breaking. That a white man feels the situation is beyond his control says much about the compulsion of the law and the sense of inevitability of removing children from one world to place them into another. Pilkington describes the long journey the girls take to the Moore River Settlement — by boat and car — and what is striking is how the white people they come into contact with seem to express a benevolence and kindness towards the girls.


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For them, such forced separations are both necessary and inevitable even if the situation is also tragic and pitiable. But for me, this is not so much a book about the stolen generations as a story about the power of family and connection to country. Molly is clearly the leader in this, confident that her bushcraft can lead them home, and the younger girls trust her decision, her strength and her determination.

In this there is the irony that the removal policy focused on half-castes, in the belief that they were more likely to lose their connection to family, community and country. Molly and the girls knew about the fence and are armed with finely honed bush skills. We see the curious role that black trackers played in hunting down their own people to send them back to the places they have fled and the complex relationships Aboriginal people have with pastoralists, who warily yet generously provide food for the girls, knowing they are fugitives but not actively helping or hindering them.

The officials seeking to recapture them assumed that the girls would not be able to make it home, underestimating their self-sufficiency and ability to adapt to the environments they encountered. The escape and journey home challenged the Department of Native Affairs.


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It was clearly underfunded for its tasks of providing education, support and provisions for Aboriginal people and it was under-resourced in its efforts to find Molly, Gracie and Daisy. Gracie is eventually recaptured, but Molly and Daisy make it home. They are immediately taken out to the bush, away from the tighter surveillance of Jigalong Depot, though it is clear from the official paper trail that their movements were followed by the department throughout their lives.

Rabbit-Proof Fence

She became a nursing aide, a wife and a mother to six children. Doris seemed to find a kind of closure to what had happened to her as a child and to how she felt about herself when she took the journey home to Jigalong, where she had been taken from her family. She learnt her traditional language in the hope that she would be able to speak with the older people. Doris had to reconcile the joy of home-coming with some painful questions. Why had she been taken, and not her younger sister, Annabelle, who had been left behind?

Why had she been abandoned at the age of four and a half, not to see her mother again until 21 years later? I am interested in the choices authors make when facing the challenges of writing a story drawn from memory. There are always gaps in the family knowledge — the removal policy certainly complicates the ability to tell complete stories as sometimes relatives were dislocated permanently. Then there is the problem that, if five family members attend an event there will be five — sometimes more — versions of what happened. When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn't have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.

A story within a story.

Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) Trailer

In Australia's Northern Territory, a man tells us one of the stories of his people and his land. It's a story of an older man, Minygululu, who has three wives and Drew Ellis is the latest lawyer to join the chaotic and challenging world of the Kimberley Circuit Court.

The Circuit follows a magistrate and an entourage of court officers and lawyers on Tales from the American West in the 19th century, told from the perspective of two families, one of white settlers and one of Native Americans. Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2, head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

An old British reporter vies with a young U. Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe. An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City. The girls all had such natural talent and to see it behind the set, it came from another point of view. I couldn't believe how alike Everlyn was to Molly, no wonder she fit perfectly.

It's a bit disapointing that they didn't have much on the stolen generation, or the real girls' lives but it was all the same very well done. It was very moving and heartbreaking how after the scene they were still crying. It just shows how much the past is still painful but how strong these people are. Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.


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Start your free trial. Essential - Doco's. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Learn more More Like This. Molly and Gracie were as scared as their relatives. How is culture clash represented in the film 'Rabbit-Proof Fence'? I'm sorry, this is a short-answer literature forum designed for text specific questions.

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