The film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’, Directed by Phillip Noyce, has created a powerful and moving film based on the true story of three young aboriginal girls who were forcibly taken from their families in Jigalong, W. A, 1931. The film gives the audience an insight into the aboriginal culture and spirituality. It also exposes the racist government policies that were applied to the aboriginal people and resulted in what is now known as the ‘stolen generation’. The film raises numerous facts and issues on family values and culture.
The aboriginal family in this film, showed hunting and tracking skills, their connection to the land, and the environment and living conditions. An example of these themes would be one of the beginning scenes where Molly captures a goanna for food (this is an example of the hunting skills past down from generations, almost like a tradition). The girls also walked into a river and Molly put Daisy’s bag on the opposite side, from they way they walked, thus made it much harder for the tracker to catch the young girls and was a smart tracking skill she had learnt again from her family.
A scene that exposes the environment and habitat of the aboriginal family is the scene where Molly brings back the goanna to there little shelter hut presumably there home. Aboriginality has increased my understanding mostly through the theme ‘the stolen generation’. Aspects of this would be lack of rights for aboriginals, the government policies and the missions. In the scene towards the beginning, the girls are taken away from their family because it was government policy to teach young aboriginals children and half castes the ways of the white man.
The government did this because the white society believed the aboriginals were unable to raise there children in a civilized manner. Before watching this film I have to admit that I was unaware of who and what the stolen generation was. Through this film I gained knowledge and understanding of aboriginal history. Another aspect or theme is when the girls are at the mission they are sitting for dinner and are confused by the culture and doings of the white. As everyone prays they learn to stand up and do the same as everyone else.
The film gave the audience great knowledge on aboriginal spiritual beliefs. This is an important factor in their lives because aboriginals were very spiritual through land, life etc. They had strong belief in looking after there land, while not over using it. Themes that are shown, included in this are totems, and mourning. In the film Rabbit Proof Fence, there is a mourning scene where the girls were taken away. The mother and grandmother chant and she hits herself with a rock this is to show her hurt and misery lost feeling they couldn’t do anything.
Also at the end when Molly and Daisy are almost home the women almost have a connection and feel the presence of there own children coming home so they sing and chant, these 2 scenes are part of the mourning theme. The film explains molly’s totem which is the eagle above her that ‘will always protect you’ and in the end leads her home. The film was an excellent dramatised movie. It has increased a lot of my knowledge and understanding of different aspects of aboriginal history. All of the themes and issues discussed were shown through great characters, settings, the plot and climaxing dialogue used throughout the entire film.