An Aussie Film called Rabbit-Proof Fence / Two Little Known Facts.

The child actresses who played the parts of Molly, Daisy and their cousin Gracie with Mr. Neville or ' Mr Devil ' as they called him...

Hi Folks,

We were out visiting friends last night and only arrived home at midnight, being keen to see the result of the Ice Dance competition I put on the television and when I'd checked the result was intrigued to see that a film had just started, something to do with the write up in the paper made me curious and so I switched the TV on to the relevant channel. The film was call 'Rabbit-Proof Fence' it was an Autralian film made in 2002 and I'm so glad Rob and I sat and watched it - it was a revelation. I had read a while ago of youngsters who were sent to Australia during the second world war - supposedly to take them away from the bombing which was going on in this country. I had heard some of the stories of the hardships they encountered and how a lot of them had been treated as slaves.... That being said some found good homes, but they were in the minority. Last night's film however told a story of three half Aborigine girls.

Anyway in last night's film English actor Kenneth Branagh was being a very uptight B**tard who thought he knew the best way to treat the children using as he understood 'good Christian values' . He made a good job of the part he played 'cos I used to like him and he definitely put me off. At times he came across as a good living Christian trying to help children as best he could... which was really eerie and weird when you knew what he was really doing was totally off the wall... (and had I been there I would personally have strung him up). The film showed an incredible but true Depression-era story about a 1,200 mile trek by these three little girls across rugged Aussie terrain. It told of the children's courage and fortitude with a straightforward directness, and the child actors were amazing .

Australians are still trying to come to terms with what some historians refer to as "the stolen generations." As white colonialists gradually occupied the lands of the indigenous people, the latter's traditional nomadic way of life was seriously eroded. Derisively seen as a "stone-age" race, the aborigines came to rely on handouts as the structure of their society collapsed and they were introduced to diseases and alcohol. By the beginning of the 20th century, paternalistic governments started removing half- and quarter-caste children from their aboriginal mothers, supposedly in their own interest. Authorities deemed that "aboriginality" could be bred out of these children within three generations. Things like this continued happening until the early 1970s.

The film tells the story of a remote community of Jigalong, two sisters Molly Craig (Everlyn Sampi) and Daisy Craig (Tianna Sansbury) aged 14 and 8 respectively, and their cousin, Gracie Fields (Laura Monaghan) aged 10, are inseparable. Long abandoned by their white fathers, the children are taught tribal ways by their mothers and grandmother. But in faraway Perth, Mr. Neville orders they be taken from their mothers and put in a special facility for half-caste children.

In a gut wrenching scene, the frightened, hysterical children are wrestled from the arms of their mothers and are transported by train and truck 1,200 miles to the Moore River Native Settlement where, under the supervision of director Mr. Neal (Garry McDonald) and his largely female staff, they are housed in dormitories, forced to speak English, and beaten if they misbehave. In no time, Molly, who is bright and fiercely independent, seizes an opportunity to escape, taking the compliant Daisy and the more cautious Gracie along. The three girls begin the long walk home to Jigalong, following the rabbit-proof fence which was built from the south coast to the north coast to keep rabbits out of farming areas. They are pursued by aboriginal tracker Moodoo (David Gulpilil) and a young white policeman, Riggs (Jason Clarke).

The story "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence," was written by (the eldest girl) Molly Craig's daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara, Once set up, the story is devoted to the long and difficult journey, the tenacious children's encounters along the way, and the increasingly frustrated attempts of Neville and his police to capture them. The most moving moment in "Rabbit-Proof Fence" came at the very end in video footage of the real Molly and Daisy, now very elderly, accompanied by a lengthy title crawl that explains what happened to them after the conclusion of the story. It was incredible to see the two main characters as they are now and remembering what they and many others went through in their childhood.

Altogether, it was a totally amazing and incredible story which could have been brought to the screen by being too sugary sweet but it was well balanced and came across a a really good true story so should you get the opportunity to see it - grab it with both hands ... I gather from books and TV nowadays that attitudes toward aboriginal folk have changed - I do hope so, it would be awful to think that we hadn't learned lessons and that things like this done in the past will never recur - Please God ! Oh and by the way it left me in tears as usual so be sure to have a hanky handy.
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Did you know that ......
1) Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented.. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only..Ladies Forbidden'.. and thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.
2) In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase ... 'Goodnight, sleep tight' .

Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.