Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) recounts the true story of three Aborigine girls from western Australia in the 1930s who were abducted by government officials and brought to the Moore River Settlement to become Anglicized.
Kenneth Branagh portrays A.O. Neville nicknamed “The Devil” who was the Chief Protector of the Aborigines during a twenty-five year period in the first half of the twentieth century.
Here’s a picture of the real Molly and Gracie who appear at the end of the film. It’s what lends itself the authenticity of the story to be “true”.
This score by Peter Gabriel won him a Grammy nomination. I like the haunting chants of the Aborigines.
But, a common problem occurs when making a historical film. Screenplays and dramatic license allows the blending of opinions to create a bias and empathy.
In this film, Mr. Neville’s reasons for removing the girls from their natural habitat was to breed out the dark blood and fill with white blood. Mr. Neville is the heartless voice of Eugenics and ethnic cleansing philosophy. But opponents of this dark painting of Neville object to the one-sided bias of the situation and feel it should be labeled as historical fiction.
In an article by Keith Windschuttle, he lists ten inaccuracies with the story-line of the film. I’ve linked the article for you if you want to read more about it.
I think it is best to think of the film as a remarkable account of the human spirit and courage. It’s an amazing story. The girls did cross The Outback–not once but twice. The “Stolen Generation” was a crime against the Aborigines no matter what the true intentions of Mr. Neville and a story everyone should know. I’ve never had a problem taking films with a grain of salt. I look for the message and not the pedantic details.
Perhaps that’s wrong! What do you think? Have you seen it?