movie review - Rabbit-Proof Fence
the journal of Michael Werneburg
twenty-seven years and one million words
This is a beautifully-shot, minimally-written telling of the escape by three 'half-caste' aborigine girls from a camp in Western Australia. It follows them through nine weeks of walking through the rugged terrain of Western Australia - a distance of 1500 miles. Along the way, the girls are faced with a surprisingly true-seeming cast of Outback types (who are universally supportive of the kids). This movie comes from real events that happened in the 30's, so don't expect any crazy adventures or moments of learning: the girls are on the run from a Tracker employed by the camp, and from the assorted authorities of the State.
The camp that the girls are running from was one of those set up by the Australian government to bring such 'half-castes' (part-European, part-aborigine) children into the Euro-Australian culture as servants and labourers. The idea was that they could diminish the aborigine culture and population and breed the black out of the half-castes. Today it seems utterly cruel and vicious (if not to mention hopeless and laughable), but I'm sure that in 70 years time they'll look back on our one-car-per-person society and not know whether to laugh or cry.