“Rabbit Proof Fence” by Phillip Noyce Essay
“Rabbit Proof Fence” by Phillip Noyce
The scene starts with indigenous music and a blank black background. The indigenous music comprehends the didgeridoo. The low pitch sets the atmosphere and the Aboriginal feel of the film. Then the prologue appears on the screen in contrasting white font, giving us the background knowledge of the movie.
Western Australia 1931100 years the Aboriginal have resisted invasion of their lands by white settlers.
Now, a special law, the Aborigines Act, controls their lives in every detail.
Mr. A. O. Neville, the Chief Protector of Aborigines, is the legal guardian of every Aborigine in the State of Western Australia. He has the powerto remove any half-caste child from their family, from anywhere within the state.The first visual shot the audience sees is an extreme long shot of the opening landscape. It comes across as dots, so the audience is made to question whether this shot is an extreme close up, extreme long shot of the land or a painting.
This shot may symbolize Aboriginal paintings, how they are mostly formed of dots and patterns, it is a very clever yet interesting way to start off the film. Simultaneously with the opening scene, Molly introduces the film in her native language. After a minute or so, the camera pans up to the sky, then focuses back to the ground. But this part of the land is darker, lifeless, and dull; it is a contrast to the opening natural environment. The audience can clearly see a fence cutting through the land, the rabbit proof fence. This signifies white people killing off the land, and likely the scar that the white have caused upon the Aborigines.
The next scene is a close shot of Molly. Molly is looking up, and the camera angle is from the bottom looking up. The sky is blue, and there is gentle wind, the music also becomes more. This shot of Molly is emphasizing her authority in the nature and the land she belongs to. Everything is calm, peaceful and relaxed. Then we see a shot of Molly and her Mother together. This shows the physical connection between Molly and her Mother. Also, in some ways defines A.O Nevilles job, to take the peace away from families, to rip them apart. Then the camera pans up to show us the spirit bird in the sky. The spirit bird symbolizes freedom, home and hope for Molly. And the spirit bird also represents the spiritual connection between Molly and the natural environment.
The next thing we see is the family, Molly, her mother, her sister Daisy, and her cousin Gracie, out hunting. This shows Molly learning to hunt, and somewhat proves her survival skills. A lot of people might question how a little girl would survive such a long journey, but this one scene answers most of their doubts. This scene also shows the unity of the family. This scene is then contrasted with the white man, looking up with a rifle. This is a symbol of violence; the music is also emphasized, with low notes.