Friday, February 22, 2008

The Stolen Generations

The Australian government seized thousands of Aboriginal and mixed race children from their families from the 1880s through the 1960s. These children, known as the “stolen generations,” were forbidden to speak their native language or practice Aboriginal customs in a misguided effort to provide a better life through forced assimilation. Just last week, the Australian government released its long awaited apology to the Aborigine people for the wrongs perpetrated against them. The Rabbit Proof Fence is a brilliant film depicting this historical event. It tells of three little girls who were forcibly taken from their mothers to be trained as domestic servants. They escape from the “settlement school” and begin the 1,500 mile walk through the Australian Outback with only a fence designed to keep rabbits from overrunning the country to guide them home. It is based on a true story but feels like a novel; a daring escape, a torturous trek through brutal desert pursued by an unwavering enemy. This is one of the best films I have ever seen; it is unforgettable.

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