In Australia, from 1883 (when the Aborigines Protection Board was established) and, unbelievably, right up to 1969 (when the Aborigines Welfare Board was abolished) an estimated 1 in 10 of all Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families in an effort to 'civilize' them by assimilation into European society and culture. As most Australians now know, successive Government authorities assumed legal guardianship of all Indigenous children and removed approximately 100,000 part-Aboriginal children from their parents and placed them with white Australian families, or in institutional care. Often they were abused, or used as domestic servants, or simply placed in homes against their will. The Stolen Generation destroyed numerous Aborigines’ lives. The damage done to them has not been redeemed, after many years. The film, Rabbit Proof Fence communicates and connects deeply with the viewers’ knowledge, response and feelings deeply towards the injustice of the Stolen Generation. Rabbit Proof Fence, sympathises the viewer with the Aborigines, sharing the atmosphere of hopeless, powerlessness and loss, bringing out its significance in its message. The power of sympathy, kinship, bonds and injustice were used throughout the film to bias the viewers. Rabbit Proof Fence focuses on many of these techniques repeatedly to highlight this, including suitable background music, camera angles, symbolic, realism and audio codes. The most dramatic scene which biases most viewers was the scene when Constable Riggs seized 3 innocent half-caste girls off their unwilling relatives under the permission of a legal document. Already, this sort of action carried out in this part screams out ‘injustice’ to the audiences’ response. However, there were many more techniques in this scene which captures the audience’s sympathy and encourage hope for the half-caste girls to escape and arrive back into the arms of true freedom and happiness, and the security of their family.
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