The term journey implies travel. It is a progression, either physical, mental or spiritual. In the classic Australian film, Rabbit Proof Fence, released in 2000, Phillip Noyce recreates the authentic story of three young Aboriginal girls, Molly, Daisy and Gracie, and their miraculous journey back home, after being forcibly removed from their families and home at Jigalong. Noyce suggests two distinct journeys through his film including the physical journey of the three girls finding their way home but also, the viewer is taken on an intellectual journey as they learn about the attitudes and beliefs that underpinned policies concerning ‘half-caste’ children during the 1930s in Australia. Both the physical and intellectual journeys represented in the film offer new understanding and acknowledgement of an important chapter in Australia’s history.
Physical journeys can be challenging and arduous but essentially rewarding. The challenges and obstacles can face the traveller emotionally and spiritually. The result of the journey is often a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. In the opening scene for Rabbit Proof Fence, Noyce reveals the vast and formidable ratio of the Western Australia desert country. An aerial motion shot of the desert landscape displays the harsh, monotonous environment. The camera tilts up to a distant shot, showing the endless terrain. Viewers are informed of the drastic physical journey that awaits the girls. The three girls’ physical journey begins when Molly, Gracie and Daisy are literally dragged from their mothers arms and home in Jigalong by constable Riggs, forcing them into the car. Over 2400km away lies their destination, Moore River Settlement, they arrive terrified. When the Matron approaches, dressed in white, to take them to the dormatory, the girls huddle together and remain hesitant to follow her, they appear to think she is a ghost. After less than 24 hours of living in the settlement, Molly notices...
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