Rabbit-Proof Fence

February 21st, 2002


more trailers Rabbit-Proof Fence

Rabbit-Proof FenceRabbit-Proof FencePhillip Noyce and Everlyn Sampi in Rabbit-Proof FenceStill of David Gulpilil in Rabbit-Proof FenceStill of Laura Monaghan and Everlyn Sampi in Rabbit-Proof FenceStill of Everlyn Sampi in Rabbit-Proof Fence

In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.5/10 (15,592 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Phillip Noyce

Stars: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh

Western Australia, 1931. Government policy includes taking half-caste children from their Aboriginal mothers and sending them a thousand miles away to what amounts to indentured servitude, "to save them from themselves." Molly, Daisy, and Grace (two sisters and a cousin who are 14, 10, and 8) arrive at their Gulag and promptly escape, under Molly's lead. For days they walk north, following a fence that keeps rabbits from settlements, eluding a native tracker and the regional constabulary. Their pursuers take orders from the government's "chief protector of Aborigines," A.O. Neville, blinded by Anglo-Christian certainty, evolutionary world view and conventional wisdom. Can the girls survive?

Writers: Doris Pilkington, Christine Olsen

Everlyn Sampi - Molly Craig
Tianna Sansbury - Daisy Craig Kadibill
Laura Monaghan - Gracie Fields
David Gulpilil - Moodoo
Ningali Lawford - Maud - Molly's Mother
Myarn Lawford - Molly's Grandmother
Deborah Mailman - Mavis
Jason Clarke - Constable Riggs
Kenneth Branagh - A.O. Neville
Natasha Wanganeen - Nina, Dormitory Boss
Garry McDonald - Mr. Neal at Moore River
Roy Billing - Police Inspector
Lorna Leslie - Miss Thomas
Celine O'Leary - Miss Jessop
Kate Roberts - Matron at Moore River

Taglines: The True Story of a Family That Defied a Nation.


Official Website: Rabbit-Proof Fence |

Release Date: 21 February 2002

Filming Locations: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: £221,758 (UK) (10 November 2002) (99 Screens)

Gross: $6,165,429 (USA) (27 April 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The last scene in the movie, which shows the real-life Molly Craig walking with a walking stick, was shot first. According to Phillip Noyce, during an interview after a screening, Molly's age and health made it so that it would be best if that scene was shot first.

Continuity: When Moodoo is first seen riding north along the Rabbit-Proof Fence to meet a police constable he's on the west of the fence. Shortly before the actual meeting he's on the east side of the fence.

[First lines]
Title Cards: Western Australia 1931
Title Cards: For 100 years the Aboriginal Peoples have resisted the invasion of their lands by white settlers.
Title Cards: Now, a special law, the Aborigines Act, controls their lives in every detail.
Title Cards: Mr. A. O. Neville, the Chief Protector of Aborigines, is the legal guardian of every Aborigine in the State of Western Australia.
Title Cards: He has the power "to remove any half-caste child" from their family, from anywhere within the state.

User Review

True and important film!

Rating: 7/10

This is a very powerful film from the wonderful Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American) and its based on the shameful history in Australia where aborigine children were taken by force from their families and tribes to camps and taught to be servants. In the film 3 sisters escape and venture to walk 1,500 miles back to their tribe. The title refers to a fenceline that stretches for thousands of miles and the girls follow it. The wonderful aborigine actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout) plays a scout that is tracking the girls and Kenneth Branaugh plays an officer that is in charge of the whole operation. I guess the main flaw in the film would be the middle where most of the walking takes place and the film really slows down but its not a major complaint. The 1,500 mile trek is expertly paced and the film is by no means dull. Rather, its fascinating! The real footage that we see at the end of the film is so powerful that the whole essence of what you have just watched becomes even more devastating. This is more than just an important film, its a documentation of an ugly and shameful part of Australian history. A must see!