ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Rabbit-proof Fence (2002), PG
Analysis Date: March 8, 2003
CAP Score: 87
CAP Influence Density: 0.24

MinMax: -52

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (PG) -- See? It can be done!

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy
Production (US): None. Produced in Australia.
Distribution (US): Miramax
Director(s): Phillip Noyce
Producer(s): Laura Burrows, David Elfick, Kathleen McLaughlin, Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen, Emile Sherman, Jonathan Shteinman, Jeremy Thomas, John Winter
Written by/Screenplay: Doris Pilkington(book Follow the Rabbit-proof Fence), Christine Olsen (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Christopher Doyle, Brad Shield
Music: Peter Gabriel
Film Editing: Veronika Jenet, John Scott
Casting: Christine King
Production Design: Roger Ford
Art Direction: Laurie Faen
Viewed At: UA/Regal Entertainment - Hulen, Fort Worth, TX

This is a true story of courage, fortitude, tenacity and determination of unparalleled dimension in the adolescent age stratum. This is also a story of atrocities suffered by the Australian Aborigines in the name of racial purity in 1931 Australia.

The strong, intimidating, rugged and very unique beauty of the Australian Aborigines people is unmistakable and profound in this film of three mixed-race adolescent girls as they trek from forced internment to home. If strength and courage are measures of beauty, there are none more beautiful than these three girls. Once again (finally) filmmakers have demonstrated the rare talent of making a good film without saturating it with vulgar extremes. See? It can be done!

Sidebar note: I wonder how many folks know that the word "aborigine" does not signify a specific race but is a noun identifying a member of an original race of inhabitants of a region: one who is native to a land. "Aboriginal" means original, indigenous. The American Indians are American Aborigines.

The rabbit-proof fence is a fence 1,500 miles long in Australia to keep the rabbits under control to preserve the agriculture of the land. It is also a landmark used by three young girls from Jigalong, Western Australia: 14 year old Molly Craig (Everlyn Sampi); 8 year old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury); 10 year old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) to lead them back home -- 1,200 miles away. That is Molly carrying Daisy on the poster image above.

From 1905 to 1971 the Australian government forcibly removed mixed-race children from their families and shipped them off to boarding schools to condition them for servant and low-level jobs in hopes of ending the mixing of races. In 1931 to about 1970, A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh), Chief Protector of Aborigines in the state of Western Australia, had full authority to remove "half-caste" children ... forcibly [Matt. 18:10]. Molly, Daisy and Gracie are forcibly removed from their mothers in Jigalong in a brutal display of racial ignorance and hatred then transported to Moore River Native Settlement 1,200 miles away. Neville told a group of high society "civilized" ladies "In spite of himself, the native must be helped." Neville displayed to the ladies a slideshow of three generations of a "half-caste" (mixed race) child with each subsequent generation showing less of the characteristics of the first generation Native Australian child. In this paragraph is the "PG" in Rabbit-proof Fence.

Throughout the film, however, the real accountability for the mixed-race children is ignored as if it is one of those things that happen; as an unavoidable part of life. The situation is not the fault of the children OR the Australian Aborigines. It is the fault of the Caucasian fence-builders and other Caucasian men who would not keep their pants on. Let us place accountability where it belongs. And it does NOT belong on the kids nor the Native Australians. Make the sexually immoral men accountable. Their eternal residence, if unforgiven, is sealed [Rev. 21:8]. Don't punish the kids for what the sexually immoral men did. Let's keep it in focus, folks. If we want the sexual pleasures God has given us, do it in accordance with His Will -- get married! Other wise it is sinful. Any sexual contact (including visual), conduct of activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.

To put matters into perspective, I can find no Scripture which makes being mixed-race a sin. And I doubt you can either. Yes, it riles me to think that anyone can belittle a child because s/he has parents of dissimilar race or other matters over which, in the purest sense, the child has absolutely no control. When Jesus warned us, repeatedly, about abuse of children He did NOT exclude any child for any reason.

Rabbit-proof Fence is not like one of the typical documentaries which, too often, seem to portray aboriginal peoples as either brainless savages of no consequence to the world or as spiritual gurus from whom the world should take lessons. Rabbit-proof Fence presents the Native Australians as the real people they are; as humans. Sensitive. Caring. Productive in their own right. And sacrificial of others. At the risk of giving you a spoiler, I will tell you that Gracie actually sacrificed her freedom to save the freedom of the other girls. Now, is this a trait of grunting, snorting Neanderthals who need governmental "protection?" To top it off, Gracie was 10 years old when she offered up her own freedom for that of others. Maybe the Australian Aborigines are "gurus" from which we can take lessons.

Life at the Moore River Native Settlement "prison" was not pleasant. Poor sanitation. Forced performance and obedience to what the children felt were unreasonable demands. Unable to cope with being away from their families and with the regimented life at Moore River, Molly decides to leave and go for making it back home on her own. Though reluctantly Gracie and Daisy follow along. Now begins the treacherous 1,200 mile trip back home. And now begins the heart of the story. I'll tell you no more about the plot and storyline in case you feel the findings we reveal for you in the Findings/Scoring section area acceptable for your family.

Rabbit-proof Fence earned a CAP final score of 87 which places it at the bottom of the scoring range for G-rated movies (100 to 87 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database of movies. A relatively minor CAP Influence Density figure of 0.24 supports that placement.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise [kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: 1) to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of (which includes abuse)] not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

    Note also Matt. 25:40 and Luke 17:2 below.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Rabbit-proof Fence (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • physical brutality to children, repeatedly
  • warehousing of children for racial "cleansing"
  • threats to a child
  • three children venturing out on their own in the wilderness under potentially lethal conditions

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • self-beating (hitting own head with a rock) due to sorrow
  • racial prejudice
  • lie to protect

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • children by sexual immorality
  • adult male drops pants before young girls (Not as exhibitionism, though. He didn't even know they were there.)

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • None noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • belief in birds to protect

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • None noted

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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