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RABBIT-PROOF FENCE

Three Aborigines escape from an Australian settlement camp and heroically journey 1,200 miles on foot to their home in the outback.


CAST: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, David Gulpilil , Ningali Lawford, Myarn Lawford, Deborah Mailman, Jason Clarke, Kenneth Branagh

DIRECTOR: Phillip Noyce

"On the side of right are the Australian Aborigines whose families were torn apart by a government policy of forcibly removing children of mixed race from their Outback communities and transporting them to settlement camps hundreds of miles away...On the side of wrong is the Australian government, which, for more than half a century carried out this appalling program of legalized kidnapping...This sturdy, touching movie personalizes this historical outrage by telling the story of three young girls who escape from a settlement and set out to make the 1,200-mile trek back home on foot...the movie becomes a paean to the beauty of the Australian countryside and the decency of most of the common people who aid the fugitives." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Based on a memoir by a grown daughter of the eldest girl and rarely digressing from the journey itself, the movie is a dusty, calloused, primal Odyssey, as forceful and single-minded as a bullet train...as the three willful girls, Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury and Laura Monaghan are indelibly haunted, vigilant, and bitter...Noyce knows that the tale naturally exudes near-mythic outrage, and all he need do is focus on the little fugitives' battered feet and empty eyes...'Rabbit-Proof Fence' howls with righteous political dudgeon." --Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

"An old-fashioned weepie tucked inside a fiercely indicting political thriller...'Rabbit-Proof Fence' serves as unassailable proof of Noyce's good intentions, even if as a political statement it's at once over- and under-cooked, with little memorable dialogue and neither enough moral or political nuance." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"The movie packs many scenes of action and suspense, even if it runs short of the deep human interest its fact-based story could have provided...While this is powerful material, Australian director Phillip Noyce puts more stress on the mechanics of the chase than on the inner lives of the girls or the friends and foes they encounter during their trek, which takes them across 1,500 miles over a three-month period...this is a watchable movie that's not quite the memorable experience it might have been." --David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"Director Phillip Noyce's simple and compelling story shows Molly, 14, her sister, Daisy, 8, and her cousin Gracie, 10, making their incredible, nearly wordless journey, using traditional hunting techniques to feed themselves. The young actresses may be untrained, but they are amazing...Noyce, whose 'The Quiet American' opened last week, has been working mostly on Hollywood thrillers since 'Dead Calm' put him on the map in 1989. Here, he lets his camera, the geography and the youngsters tell this exceptionally powerful story." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News