Linh Essay

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Rabbit-Proof Fence: the Question of 'Intent' in History Article In 2002 the Australian film Rabbit-Proof Fence was released nationwide and won the Best Film category at the Australian Film Industry Awards. The film tells the This image is taken from the film Rabbit-Proof Fence Image reproduced by courtesy of Jabal Films Pty Ltd story of three mixed descent girls from an Aboriginal settlement at Jigalong, in the far north of Western Australia. Molly, Gracie and Daisy were taken from their family in 1931 by the police because they were deemed in the language of the day 'half-caste' and transported 2,400 kilometers to the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth. There they were homesick and miserable. They took off, intent on going back to Jigalong. Police and trackers searched for them but failed to find them. The girls walked for nine weeks. They lived off bush tucker including emu chicks plucked and cooked, birds eggs, rabbits and lizards. Once, they dined on a big feral cat. They followed the rabbit-proof fence built to keep rabbits from gaining access west of the fence. The film is based on Daisy's recollections of the epic journey, her family's memories, official documents and newspaper reports. The story was first published in 1996 in a book written by Molly's daughter, Doris Pilkington, who also goes by the name of Nugi Garimara. Her book is called Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. The film matters to historians because it deals with a controversial issue, sometimes called the issue of the 'Stolen Generations'. There are always hot topics in Australian history. This is a hot topic because it deals with the separation of children from their parents - an emotional business. It is also a hot topic because it has disturbed settled views on how things were in the past. The past is important to us - it is part of the way we see ourselves, part of our

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