The Start of the Film The film begins with background information, powerful music and what appear to be abstract images. The vastness of the outback and the girls' daunting trip is highlighted by the opening aerial shots, and additional overhead shots confirm their tininess against the fence. Name a recurring theme throughout the film.
Throughout the film, the girls are pictured as frightened rabbits trapped on the wrong side of the fence - wide-eyed as if caught in headlights, caged in a hutch transporting them away to the settlement, huddled like baby rabbits on the Bush floor.The Eagle Very early in the film, we see the eagle, Molly’s totem, her spirit bird. Her mother tells her the Eagle will look after her. When does the bird appear again in the film and why? The eagle symbolises Molly’s freedom. It recurs in her dreams and when she thinks of her mother. Why is the rabbit-proof fence so important in the film? The biggest irony lies in this central motif, because it was the fence's construction that brought the children’s white fathers to the previously isolated Aboriginal communities in the first place.
Screenwriter Christine Olsen says, "the fence has always been such an amazing symbol for the Europeans' attempt to tame the land: to draw a line … it's such a magnificent symbol for a lot of what's happened to Australia. " In a particularly moving movement, the fence is touched (swung back and forth)by Molly and the girls and Molly’s mother simultaneously, as a means of calling/communicating with each other, one could imagine that the vibration of movement in the fence is felt by Molly’s mother so many miles away .The importance of the sound track Music is used to create mood and atmosphere. Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack Long Walk Home draws power to the scenes.
Gabriel has successfully blended traditional aboriginal instruments such as the didgeridoo with the modern instruments to withdraw dramatic emotion. Camera Angles 1 During the emotionally charged scene when RIggs tears the girls from their mother’s arms, Phillip Noyce uses ground level camera angles that keep up with the action, drawing the audience in the traumatic scene. The camera looks down at Molly as she looks up at the Eagle. Molly looks straight at the camera.
Camera Movement and Position As the girls are driven away there is a close up of Molly and Maude (Molly’s mother) banging on the car, the camera then zooms out to show the car moving away and Maude chasing it. Finally Maude is shown close up chasing the car and the camera pans out to show the car leaving Maude and the other women behind. The scene shows how heart wrenching and traumatic the removal of the girls was. CutThe joining of two pieces of film together (splice): Molly looking up at the Eagle, the Eagle in the sky and back to Molly again. Dialogue Overlap One of the first scenes shows Maude talking in the background in her own dialect as two men on horses discuss the future of the girls in English.
Flashback 1 Molly is sleeping and has flashbacks to the first scenes when she is talking to her mother in their own language. 2 Molly remembers Mr Neville examining her colour and rejecting her for being too black. Long ShotShot of the Moore River Native Settlement whilst the children are sitting down and some are performing Mr Neville’s favourite song. Long Take At the very beginning of the film there is a long take of the desert. Medium Shot As the girls awaken on the first day at the settlement, the top half of their bodies are in the shot.
Point of View The shot is taken with the camera placed approximately where the character’s eyes would be, showing what the character would see: Molly being called out of line by Mr Neville.Molly’s point of view is shown as she slowly walks up to Mr Neville and when he bends down to talk to her. The character of Moodoo Moodoo the tracker is silent throughout the film except for when he talks about Molly and says “she pretty clever that girl-she want to go home”. Differences/Bits missed out from the book 1 When the girls are taken by Riggs, Lilly- Gracie’s mother runs to Gracie’s father Alf Fields and cries, “Why didn’t you stop them? ” Alf replies “I couldn’t …the policeman was just doing his job-doing what the law tells him to do.If I try to stop him, they’ll put me in prison.
” 2 In the book the girls travel by sea to the settlement, yet in the film they travel by train. Use of cinematography We follow the girls' progress along the rabbit-proof fence intercut with Neville looking at his maps, we feel as trapped as Molly does in point-of-view shots at the camp, and we consider the miles to travel as the camera lingers for a while on the terrain ahead. Mr Neville, the Chief Protector of Aborigines Mr A. O. Neville uses many words and phrases to justify taking the girls away.Some of them include: “unwanted third race”; “advance to white status”; “in spite of himself, the native must be helped”; “they are our ‘special responsibility”, etc.
“By the third generation the aboriginal has simply been breed out“ “The problem of half cast is not simply going to go away. If it is not dealt with now it will fester for years to come. These children are that problem. ” What do these quotes tell us? When the Children were taken The use of music, sound effects and the women crying are far more dramatic than in the book. Why is this?