I could not find a copy of this movie to watch for a while. Then I checked YouTube and there it was the whole thing with subtitles. I do not remember if I watched it in class when previously enrolled, but I am glad I found it and glad I watched it. I have always been very interested in other cultures but I feel like I gloss over the information and come out with an idealistic view of how certain cultures have been and are treated.
Unless the racism, hatred, stereotypes, and judgments are staring me in the face on a daily basis I feel like I come out with rainbows and gum drops for viewpoints. Rabbit Proof Fence was hard to watch at first because of the language, but I stuck with it because I knew I had to and I hoped I would learn something. For the first 25 minutes of the film I took notes about the particulars but after that point, something told me to just watch the movie and absorb it.
What I noticed within the first 25 minutes is that even though it was called a rabbit proof fence, I never once saw a rabbit and I question whether this is what was really a threat. It almost seems like Australia was being divided, the side that contained half-caste children, and the side that was believed to not. This theory was never confirmed or denied, but I still have my suspicions.
These children were doing nothing wrong, they were trying to be kids, they did not understand why Mr. Neville wanted to remove the half-caste children, the purpose was never explained to them; However, I believe that Molly knew. Molly was a very bright child and I think she knew that white people viewed half-castes as tainted, unwanted, etc. It seems Molly knew Moore River was just a concentration camp focused on injecting white Protestantism, and removing the Aborigine’s culture. Molly also seemed to realize it is not that simple.
No matter how nice the white people at Moore River seemed, they were the enemy because they were just pretending, exemplifying how they wanted the children to act. Most children fall in line in fear, but just like there are rebels in our children today, there were rebels then. To the folks who put together Moore River, it may have seemed like paradise because these people came from so little, but they were breeding contempt, hatred, and brainwashing the identities out of them.
Sugar coated hatred is all the keepers of Moore River embodied. Mr. Neville, rightfully called Mr. Devil, believed his own crap. He really believed that by ripping the children from their families, brainwashing them with Christianity, English, and conformity, and giving them scraps to sleep on they would become Stepford white children. This film enlightened and enraged me because culture and iron clad identity and individualism should be celebrated not fought against, not hated, feared, or ripped from the child’s soul.
Molly realized all of these things and even though this is not explicitly stated, I can tell she understood what was going on. It amazed me that such a young child, an adolescent, who should be worried about nothing really, except the normal ups and downs of growing up and learning about the changes in your moods, in your body, and discovering who you are within your own culture, was so set in her identity, that she escaped Moore River and walked home to Jijalong TWICE.
She walked the over 800 miles twice, carrying her sister, then her baby daughter a lot of the journey. When I think of the things I would do for my children, for my family, I never think this is something I could HAVE to do because I am privileged, I live in a different time, and I am white. It was eye opening, heart wrenching, and gut churning to watch this film, but it is one I will never forget, and the strength of Molly, Gracie, and Daisy is extreme enough to keep me in awe.