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Rabbit-Proof Fence Details


After directing a number of major motion pictures in the United States, Australian-born filmmaker Phillip Noyce returned home to make this remarkable adventure-drama, based on a true story as well as a lamentable period in his nation's history. When European settlers first arrived in Australia, there was an almost immediate conflict between the recent arrivals and the nation's indigenous people, whose rich cultural heritage which bore little resemblance to that of the Europeans. By the mid-19th century, when white settlers had gained political control of the continent, many aborigines found themselves removed from their lands and their children taken from them, under the belief that the youngsters would be better off in a more "civilized" environment. Through most of the 20th century, it was official government policy that half- or quarter-caste indigenous children were to be taken from their families and raised as "white" children in orphanages, where they would be trained to work as domestic servants or laborers. In 1931, Molly (Everlyn Sampi) and her younger sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) were three half-caste children from Western Australia who were taken from their parents under government edict and sent to an institution, where they were subject to physical and emotional abuse as they were taught to forget their families, their culture, and their lives up to that point and re-invent themselves as members of "white" Australian society. Gracie and Daisy cling to Molly for support, and Molly decides they need to return to their parents. Molly plans a daring escape, and the three girls begin an epic journey back to Western Australia, travelling 1,500 miles on foot with no food or water, and navigating by following the fence that has been build across the nation to stem an over-population of rabbits. A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), the government functionary in charge of relocating Western Australia's aborigines, takes a special interest in the case of the three girls, and brings in a veteran tracker, Moodoo (David Gulpilil) to help find them, secure in the belief he's acting in their best interest. Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on the acclaimed book by Doris Pilkington Garimara, whose Aunt Daisy was one of the three children who made the extraordinary journey and helped her with the research for the book. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:November 29, 2002


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Peter Gabriel Best Original Score 2002 Nominee
National Board of Review Phillip Noyce Best Director 2002 Winner


Everlyn Sampi
as Molly Craig
Tianna Sansbury
as Daisy Craig
Laura Monaghan
as Gracie Fields
David Gulpilil
as Moodoo
Kenneth Branagh
as A.O. Neville
Deborah Mailman
as Mavis
Jason Clarke
as Constable Riggs
Ningali Lawford
as Molly's Mother
Myarn Lawford
as Mooly's Grandmother
Garry McDonald
as Mr. Neal
Roy Billing
as Police Inspector
Andrew S. Gilbert
as Depot Manager
Ken Radley
as Fence Worker


Phillip Noyce
Phillip Noyce
John Winter
Christine Olsen
Christine Olsen
Doris Pilkington Garimara
Book Author
Christopher Doyle
Peter Gabriel
Composer (Music Score)
George Acogny
Musical Direction/Supervision
John Scott
Veronika Jenet
Roger Ford
Production Designer
Laura Burrows
Associate Producer
Jeremy Thomas
Executive Producer
Kathleen McLaughlin
Executive Producer
David Elfick
Executive Producer
Roger Ford
Costume Designer
Emma Schofield
First Assistant Director
Christine King
Ian Jones
Second Unit Director