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Rabbit Proof Fence

The closing film of IFFI is based on the true story of three aboriginal girls, forcibly taken away from their families.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2003 22:11 IST
PTI

Rabbit-Proof Fence
Director/Producer
: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Everlyn Sampi, Laura Monaghan, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh,
David Gulpilil

Based on the true story of Molly, Gracie and Daisy, three aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken from their families in 1931, award-winning Rabbit Proof Fence opened to rave reviews.

Bringing to a wider audience one of the many tragic and, until recently, untold stories of the "stolen generation" - the estimated 30,000 Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their parents by Australian authorities between 1900 and the late 1960s - Rabbit Proof Fence begins at Jigalong, an Aboriginal settlement on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert in northwest Australia.

The three girls (children of white fathers who helped build the fence), their mothers and extended family have come from the bush for their monthly supplies. This time however they are abducted and taken to a Native Settlement camp at Moore River near Perth to be trained as domestic servants as part of an official Australian government policy.

Molly leads her younger sister and cousin in a daring escape from the camp to embark on an epic 1,500 mile journey across the Gibson Desert on foot in an attempt to rejoin their communities in the far north of the state.

Following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the Australian continent through some of the harshest outback country in Australia, they are pursued by the authorities. Western Australia's Chief Protector of Aborigines, A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh) does his best to recapture them, with help from a black tracker David Moodoo (David Gulpilil).

Doris Pilkington Garimara, Molly Kelly's daughter, provided the first account of her mother's incredible voyage in her 1996 book, follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. Producer-screenwriter Christine Olsen has adapted her account to the screen.

Executive Producer: Jeremy Thomas
Writer/Producer: Christine Olsen (Based on the book Doris Pilkington Garimara)
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle
Music: Peter Gabriel

Awards:
Golden Globe 2002 for Best Original Score
National Board of Review 2002: Film of the Year andBest Director
Australian Film Institute 2002: Best Picture

Director's bio note: Phillip Noyce began making short films as a teenager (Castor and Pollux, 1973) and directed documentaries for Film Australia. After his debut feature Backroads (1977), Noyce scored commercial and critical success with Newsfront (1978) that won Australian awards for Best Film, Director, and Screenplay.

He subsequently made Heatwave (1983) with Judy Davis, The Dismissal (1983), and Cowra Breakout (1984). Fellow Australian George Miller then produced Dead Calm (1989), Noyce's thriller that launched him in the US.

He directed his first American feature Blind Fury (1989) followed by the greatly successful Tom Clancy spy thriller Patriot Games (1992), followed by Sliver (1993) and another Clancy adaptation, Clear and Present Danger (1994).

He directed The Saint (1997) and The Bone Collector (1999) before making Rabbit Proof Fence.