A powerful true story of hope and survival. At a time when it was Australian government policy to train aboriginal children as domestic workers and integrate them into white society, young Molly Craig leads her little sister and cousin in a daring escape from their internment camp.
Molly and the girls — part of what would become known as Australia’s “Stolen Generations” — must then elude the authorities on a dangerous 1,500 mile adventure along the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the continent and will lead them home.
This film can be used to introduce the history of the forced removal of Native-American children from their homes in the United States. The DVD also features a documentary on the making of the film, as well as commentary on the social and historical context.
Bill Bigelow wrote these teaching ideas when he shared Rabbit-Proof Fence with his high school students. The writing activity in suggestion #1 is described in “Promoting Social Imagination Through Interior Monologues” by Bill Bigelow and Linda Christensen.
- Interior Monologue: Pick one of the following writing choices or come up with one of your own:
- Write a letter to Chief Protector, Mr. A. O. Neville, explaining your reaction to his views on and treatment of the children he had authority over — from the point of view of either Molly’s mother, another mother trying to make contact with her child, or you.
- Imagine years later, Molly meets with Neville and has a chance to respond to Neville’s justifications for taking the children. Write a dialogue between the two. Do this as a dialogue (two voice) poem, if you like.
- Imagine you are Molly at age 30 and the mother of two children. Tell your children what you learned (life truths and skills) from your experiences in 1931.
- Write an interior monologue from the point of view of Molly, Daisy, or Gracie when they arrive at Moor River Native Settlement.
- Write an interior monologue from the point of view of the grandmother, hitting herself with a stone when Molly, Daisy, and Gracie are kidnapped.
- Essay question: How are the experiences depicted in Rabbit-Proof Fence similar to and/or different from the experiences of other Indigenous people in the United States and Canada?