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Rabbit-Proof Fence
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Tianna Sansbury
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2003     1hr 34min

RABBIT-PROOF Fence -- featuring the Golden Globe-nominated score by Peter Gabriel -? is a powerful true story of hope and survival and has been met with international acclaim! At a time when it was Australian government po...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Tianna Sansbury
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/15/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Paula G. from ODESSA, TX
Reviewed on 10/22/2013...
The movie is well done and moving.

It is true to the general idea of the book, but it also adds some white guilt for no apparent reason I could see. For example there is a scene in the movie where the children are taken in by a housekeeper and find that her master rapes her. This did not happen in real life.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tracy M. from ARLINGTON, MA
Reviewed on 6/22/2009...
This is one of the most moving films I've ever seen, in part because it's based on a horrifyingly true story of three young aboriginal girls who walked over 1200 miles after being forcibly removed from the aboriginal parents, as was the Australian policy with mixed blood aborigines. Just as moving as the film is the documentary on the making of the film AND the director's commentary along with the film. This is a must-see.

Movie Reviews

Courage and determination during a dark chapter of history
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Between 1905 and 1971, the Australian government had a horrible policy. They forcibly removed all half-caste Aboriginal children to special training schools. The grown daughter of one of these children wrote a book about her mother's experiences. This film is an adaptation of that book. The story takes place in 1931, when Molly, then 14, her sister Daily, then 8, and her cousin Gracie, then 10, are literally torn from the arms of their mothers, put in a cage, and taken 1,200 miles away to a school which is actually a sort of prison. Here, they are forbidden to speak their own language, they have to attend a Christian church, and are taught the ways of the white Australian culture around them. Led by Molly, the girls run away. And most of the film is the odyssey of their trek back home, following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects Australia, constructed to keep rabbits out of the pastureland.The villain is clearly the white director of the school. It is amazing, but he actually believes in the racial theories that were prevalent at the time. He believes he is helping them and plays his role well, coming across as stupid and misguided rather than evil. The Aboriginal girls are all unknowns, and terrific actresses, as are the women who play Molly and Daisy's mother and grandmother. The courage and determination of the girls during their three-month journey, the people they meet along the way, and their efforts to dodge the trackers who have been sent to retrieve them by the school, is truly inspiring. This is all set against the backdrop of the Australian outback; the cinematography certainly captures its beauty.The film is 94 minutes long and moves quickly. I immediately identified with the girls and felt their fear as well as their bravery as they made their way across the Australian continent. In a postscript to the story, we learn more about their lives. It did not turn out to be pretty. But two of the girls have survived into their nineties, and we meet them briefly. They are strong women with weathered faces, one of them walking with a cane, but clearly at home in their Outback surroundings.The film is a lesson in inspiration and courage as well as a geography and history lesson about Australia. I loved it and highly recommend it."
A movingly told story of real life heroes
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 01/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a marvelously successful movie that is especially moving because the story it tells is true. RABBIT-PROOF FENCE is the story of how Australia for several decades took half-caste aboriginal children (i.e., children of mixed white and aboriginal parentage) and raised them in what was essentially an orphanage school to become domestic servants. The film focuses on three girls--Molly, Daisy, and Gracie--who live beside one of Australia's rabbit-proof fences that cover the country and are taken from their mother to live at the school. The bulk of the movie tells of their escape and 1300 mile journey following the rabbit-proof fence back to their mother.Three things stand out about this movie. First, the simplicity of the story. This is a movie that has easily identifiable good and bad guys. The policy the government embarked on for several decades was obviously and irredeemably racist and evil, and in part made more tragic by not being widely reported. I know a couple of Australians living here in Chicago, and both say they had never heard of this practice while growing up. This film does an enormous service to humankind by publicizing this great crime.Second, the performances by the three girls in the central roles are marvelous. In particular, Everylyn Sampi, as Molly, the oldest of the three girls, stands out. What is remarkable is the three girls were utter amateurs, with no acting experience at all. Sampi manages to imbue her Molly with both great intelligence and iron-willed determination.Third, the film is both a visual and aural delight. I have over the years seen a lot of films shot in Australia, most of them much further east than this one. Most of it occurs in areas of Australia that are less familiar. I saw this film in a theater with five-point sound, and I have rarely seen a film that made better use of that than this one. This is one of those films that no fan of film should miss. It tells a magnificent and true story well. One of the most moving moments is when two of the real life girls, now elderly women, are shown. Just a great movie."
Watch the absorbing documentary...
Whodathotit | Sunnyvale, CA USA | 06/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I won't gush on and on about the excellent movie. I want to bring your attention to the "Making of" documentary. So often these are thrown onto a DVD as a "bonus", but amount to nothing more than a refried re-telling of the film. Here, instead, we are treated to forty-five minutes of how Philip Noyce selected his three young actresses, and all the trials and tribulations that entailed. The scene in the film of the three children being taken from their mothers is a very heart-wrenching scene. But, moving beyond compare is that same scene as caught by the "making of" cameras during and after the shoot. Many of the people behind the cameras were in tears during the actual filming of the scene. At the end of the scene, the character mothers are on the ground crying and Noyce yells, "CUT!". He looks down and you can hear the actresses still crying. He looks up and around the camera with a puzzled look on his face to see if perhaps the actresses did not hear him yell, "CUT". They are all still on the ground sobbing, and he has to go over to console them, saying "Woa, Woa, Woa..." to calm them down and bring them out of it because everyone was so drawn into the event they were reenacting they forgot they were only filming a scene. That was very moving to see how the girls and women were so affected by the filming of that scene. Insights such as this are what make the "Making of" documentary actually worth watching after the film itself."