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The Film Rabbit Proof Fence Is Based On This True Account Of Doris Pilkington S Mother Molly, Who As A Young Girl Led Her Two Sisters On An Extraordinary , Kilometre Walk Home Under Western Australia S Invidious Removal Policy Of The S, The Girls Were Taken From Their Aboriginal Families At Jigalong On The Edge Of The Little Sandy Desert, And Transported Halfway Across The State To The Native Settlement At Moore River, North Of Perth Here Aboriginal Children Were Instructed In The Ways Of The White Society And Forbidden To Speak Their Native TongueThe Three Girls Aged ,AndManaged To Escape From The Settlement S Repressive Conditions And Brutal Treatment Barefoot, Without Provisions Or Maps, They Set Out To Find The Rabbit Proof Fence Tracked By Native Police And Search Planes, They Hid In Terror, Surviving On Bush Tucker, Desperate To Return To The World They KnewTheir Journey To Freedom Longer Than Many Of The Legendary Walks Of Our Explorer Heroes Is Vividly Told From Family Recollections, Letters Between The Authorities And The Aboriginal Protector, And Dramatic Newspaper Reports Of The Runaway Children It Reveal A Past Cruel Than We Could Ever Imagine In the life of an Aboriginal woman, no one isimportant than her mother when she is young, her daughters when she is oldI knew very little about the ugly side of history of Australia, but this short book definitely was an eye opener Rabbit Proof Fence is the harrowing true story of three mixed race Aboriginal children who walked a thousand miles to get back to their mothers This book, written by Doris Pilkington, tells how her mother Molly and her younger cousins Gracie and Daisy were taking from their Aboriginal families and brought to a residential school for Aboriginal children There they were told to forget everything about their native culture the language, the songs, even their own mother and to learn the British ways, so that these mixed race children one day could serve as domestic servants and cheap labours Molly, Gracie, and Daisy, the girls only being 14, 10, and 8, of course wanted to go back home, and so Molly escaped with her cousins to make the long journey through the desert Molly s leadership skills are incredible with her knowledge of the land and the animals, and her clever ideas to keep the British persecutors off their back, she was able to keep Gracie and Daisy safe during their heavy journey I m a bit sad that I ve read the Oxford University Press edition because the story has been shortened and simplified so that young children can read and understand the severe situation as well This took away the impact and the edge of the story, but on the other hand movie stills were added to the book, which helped me visualize the events and the main characters Now I m really interested in watching the movie based on this book So although the 3 stars are solemnly based on me reading this child friendly edition, I do recommend this book to others because it s part of a history that s not very known and deserves a lotattention. I am enjoying the book a lot for it s intellectual honesty as well as it s writing, rather than manipulation of emotions It s looking like it s going to be a 5 star book, but was only a 2 star movie.I watched the film the other night I felt totally manipulated the whole time It made me wonder if the director s other job wasn t making Middle East propaganda documentaries 10% facts, and 90% lots of tear jerk ahhh those poor people, oooh those evil bastards moments Plus atmospheric lighting and wonderful camera work Although the cast were Aborigines, the director was a white Australian Full of historical guilt no doubt Still I m sure the popularity of it helped assuage that and the money he made, well he didn t give any of it to any Aboriginal support projects Why should he It was only a commercial enterprise to him The emotion was for us.Here are two examples of the manipulation The first is that the girls in the film are dragged away from their mother very violently and thrust into a car The father, a white man, is said to be long gone The book says that actually the parents were still together and when the authorities came to take the children to the school, it was with force of law not violence The mother who was still with the father of the children, then left him because he was frightened to stand up to the authorities as he might go to prison.But now I m reading the book The author is the daughter of the main character of the film Her book is a great dealnuanced than the film made of it The film is all black and white, good and bad, the book is shades and colours, the good as well as the bad, but without ever forgetting the whole enterprise of the white man in Australia has been to deprive Aborigines of everything they wanted for themselves It seems very little different now A bit like American Indians One wonders why they make a fuss about some people in the world wanting to return to their ancestral lands but ignore what goes on at home Rating 3.5 of fiveThe Publisher Says This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit proof fence back to their homelands Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment The girls were not even allowed to speak their language Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.My Review Doris Pilkington s father was a cowardly white man who failed to protect his three half Aboriginal daughters from the colonial mentality espousing their forced removal from their parents Their mother left the cad, good on her, and was still powerless to act against the white government to get her daughters out of their residential school where they were maltreated The aim of their removal from Aboriginal society was to prevent them from passing on the values of their society, instead becoming darker skinned white people Oh, and not just that, but inferior servant class white people.Can t imagine where the Aussies got such a horrible idea Nope Just can t Nor where the South Africans got the idea for apartheid Nuh uh Imponderable No relation to the American policies on Native peoples or former slaves Dear me, no.That sarcasm out of the way, I will remark that the story is presented as a novel despite the fact that Pilkington aka Garimara 1937 2014 was writing about her very own mother s story It freed her to write about the details of the girls experiences, ones she must have heard from her mother s own lips, without the burden of fact checking or documenting things that were never written down or part of any official record in the first event.The prose isn t stellar In fact it s pretty clunky I enjoyed the Aboriginal words used without explanation, since there was a handy dandy glossary in the back of the book I didn t want the author to lead me by my lily white hand to the Promised Land of Otherness I expect that my rating would ve been a lot lower had she done that I was simply dropped into the otherness, as Molly and her sisters were It s a good technique, effectively putting the reader into the shoes of scared children In the end, the experience of reading the book was better than the book itself What a weird sentence that is I know I must sound like a raving loonie But what I mean by that is that this is a truly important and continually relevant depressingly tale of oppression and victimization based on ethnic difference It just isn t a particularly well written one And still it makes a strong impression on the reader, one that means something inside shifts a bit, hopefully in a positive direction I d suggest reading it to anyone who thinks the segregation of an ethnic minority is in any way a good idea.The 2002 film, Rabbit Proof Fence, is only 2.99 to rent atIt s got some areas where it s a bit better than the book, and some lovely cinematography The book and the film are best enjoyed together How unusual is that Not my favorite I d like to readabout Aboriginals, but this wasn t done very well in my opinion and since the author is the daughter of this woman, it was hard to suspend my disbelief in order to read this and all of the little details she inserted.