Essay Philllipe Noyce’s Film, The Rabbit-Proof Fence

Essay Philllipe Noyce’s Film, The Rabbit-Proof Fence

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Interactions between native peoples and immigrants have caused elements of their cultures and societies to entwine where one overpowers the other unevenly, changing both their individual and collective identities. The ambiguity in the peoples’ intentions and understandings creates tension that forces both people to reflect on their identities and act to shape and strengthen them. Both engage in a battle of defining their own and others’ identities and struggle to make them reality. Director Philllipe Noyce’s film The Rabbit-Proof Fence manifests the effects of interactions between indigenous Australians and English colonists, both attempting to control their societal and national identities through the care of their youth. Based on Doris Pilkington Garimara’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, the film uncovers forgotten memories through a simple but mysterious glimpse into Aborigine (person with mixed aboriginal and white descent) children’s experience of forced separation from their families. In the story, three Aborigine girls escape on foot together from a sickening settlement, hoping to return home, 1500 miles away, safely. The film simplistically, but realistically, depicts the Aborigines as victims of a hypocritical government changing their future claiming to help them, but ultimately to change its own standing. The Rabbit Proof Fence communicates the importance of native rights, freedom, justice, voice, family, and home.
The film helps to explain the ambiguity in the motives and actions of the government workers. The government workers and the missionaries both want to do good and help the Aborigines, but their actions are guided by naturally ingrained stereotypes and self interests. The whites view the natives and the Aborig...


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...e influence of false stereotypes.



Works Cited

Alcida, Ramos. 1998. Indigenism: Ethnic Politics in Brazil. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Print.
Korff, Jens. “A guide to Australia’s Stolen Generations” Creative Spirits, n.d. Web. Jan. 2014.
Making of Rabbit Proof Fence, The. Dir. Darlene Johnson. Jabal Films Pty. Ltd., 2002. Film.
Rabbit Proof Fence. Dir. Noyce Phillipe. Perf. Everyln Sampi, Laura Monaghan, Tianna Sansbury. Mirimax Films, 2002. Film.
Smith, Paul Chaat. 2009. Everything You Know about Indian Is Wrong. Minneapolis: Unviersity of Minnesota Press. Print.
Strong, Pauline. 1996. “Animated Indians: Critique and Contradiction in Commodified Children’s Culture.” Cultural Anthropology. Print.
Watson, Christine. “Nugi Garimara (Doris Pilkington) Interviewed By Christine Watson.” Hectate 28.1 (2002): 23. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27. Jan 2014.

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