April 27, 2014

Rabbit Proof Fence

Phillip Noyce, 2002
Set in 1931, Three Aborigine girls are taken from their family in an effort to slowly eradicate Australia of its indigenous population. 

Rabbit Proof has some really great qualities, but is ultimately a film that is lacking to a certain degree. The acting and cinematography really stand out, with the young girls showing durability and endurance while encompassed by superior camera work. The barren Australian Outback really invokes a sense of vast despair for the girls as they try to make their way back home. At times the heat radiates from the surface of the dry earth, reinforcing the unforgiving conditions the poor girls must endure. Sometimes the camera is attempting to focus on the silhouettes of the girls as they appear to almost float above the white surface. The actual fence they follow serves as a symbol in a sense, the descendants of British colonists trying so desperately to efface any anterior heritage. Their eagerness to "breed out" the half-castes is similar to that of the Nazi's Final Solution. But with that being said, the film is guilty of dragging when it comes to the story. Wearisome, sometimes almost feeling like homework. It is by no means an un-watchable film, but it certainly is an overrated one based on the wide critical acclaim it receives. The book likely gives the story much better treatment and probably makes more of an impact. That's what is ultimately lacking in Rabbit Proof. The story itself never seems to create a gripping, emotional impression. At the end of the day, the film at least takes you into a chapter of world history not often explored, it's just a shame it lightly glides through it without leaving you with any deep-seated memories.

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