Rabbit-Proof Fence

Movie review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Rabbit-Proof Fence Movie Poster Image
Powerful drama about racism OK for tweens and up.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Children show strong resolve to be with parents against all odds. However, the British believe the Aborigine is an inferior race.

Violence

Forceful taking of children from their mothers, armed standoff.

Sex

Obscured reference to a white master forcing himself upon his Aboriginal servant.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an intense drama depicting three Aboriginal children leaving an Australian internment camp in an attempt to reunite with their families. The scene of the government official taking the children away is intensely emotional, though only moderately violent. During the journey home, the children are hidden by an Aboriginal servant in her bed, and her master is surprised when he goes to sleep with her and finds the children. A confrontation between a British official with a gun and an Aboriginal mother with a spear is tense, but results in no use of force.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byOprabben March 7, 2015

Inspiring, girl power, beauty, champion, racism, family, message, mixed race

I'm surprised by the sanitized family discussion topic recommendations given for this movie by Common Sense Media because they leave out the real deal. Thi... Continue reading
Parent of an infant and 2 year old Written bynearlyfallinstar May 13, 2011

Pretty Mild & a Good Story

This is one of those movies that I wouldn't be too concerned about my two year old being in the room while it was playing. When the girls are taken away, i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDardy Sing August 11, 2010
i like it cause its to do with my culture but i dont like the part when the white men take the children away from there family:(
Kid, 11 years old April 6, 2018
It was good to get to know more about what happened in the stolen generations. It was quite hard to come to terms with the consent though.

What's the story?

Set in 1931, RABBIT-PROOF FENCE brings to the screen the horrific consequences of a British policy that removed Australian children who were of mixed white/Aboriginal background from their homes (a practice that continued until the 1970s). In this true story, Molly Craig (Everlyn Sampi), her sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury), and their cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) are all "half castes," what the British call children of mixed-race couples. Their British fathers have long since left, and their homes are with their mothers in Jigalong, an area along a rabbit-proof fence that cuts through the middle of Australia. British officials, wanting to improve the upbringing of all half-castes, forcibly take the children to an internment camp where they are to be trained as domestic workers and integrated into society. Once there, Molly's longing for her home is so strong that she makes an escape with her sister and cousin, following the fence to get back to Jigalong.

Is it any good?

The children's performances are quite strong. While appearing courageous on their treacherous journey, they are also able to show their hidden fear. This film does not simply cast the British as unsympathetic villains; while they do believe the Aborignie is an inferior race to the British, their desire to recapture the escaped children is motivated at least partly by a fear for the children's well-being.

While the tale is emotionally charged, it is appropriate for any older children or tweens who are mature enough to handle the scene of the children being taken away from their parents.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about true stories. Do you believe that this movie is 100 percent fact? How would you find out?

  • What do you think of popular movies' ability to tell history? Do you think you get an accurate picture of what happened? Do you care more than if you read about this practice in a history book?

Movie details

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