Rabbit-Proof Fence

We finally got around to watching Rabbit-Proof Fence last night – it’s been sitting by the TV for over a week (thankfully, Dais has Netflix so we weren’t in any rush). Though it didn’t strike me as great, I enjoyed it; the actors, for the most part, were little-known (which is refreshing) and did a very good job. The story, based on a true story, is quite fascinating – though I mostly was irritated by the condescension and closed-mindedness of Mr. Neville (played by Kenneth Branagh)… but I suppose that’s the point.

To summarize, over 75 years ago Australia adopted a policy of “caring” for the half-caste (read half-white) children being born to the aborigines. This policy effectively gave the aforementioned Mr. Neville the legal power to remove them from their families and “civilize” them. They were placed in an internment camp with other young half-caste children and it was run quite strictly (in the movie, at least, by nuns). The heart of the movie revolves around a girl’s attempt to return to her home – over 1500 miles away – on foot, with her sister and cousin (the eldest was 14). The rabbit-proof fence of the title is what makes this possible, as it stretches nearly the entire length of the land in an effort to separate the ballooning rabbit population from Australian farmland.

Thinking about my reaction to this movie has reminded me of something M-mv blogged about recently. She said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” Now, in all fairness, she clarified that what she really hates is having to write, but my point is this: I sometimes don’t feel in the mood to watch some movies, but I love having seen them. I guess I’m sort of a cataloger – I want to know it all and see it all, even though perhaps it’s not the most interesting or exciting thing out there.

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