The Theme of Cultural Identity in Rabbit-Proof Fence, a Movie by Phillip Noyce

In Rabbit-Proof- Fence directed by Phillip Noyce an important idea is that of cultural identity. This relates to the idea that where one comes from, one’s identity and having a sense of belonging is essential to one’s sense of worth. This idea helped the viewer to understand an important message for teenagers about identity by the way it showed how the girls were only truly happy when they were with family in Jigalong. They never fit in at the Moore River Camp as it was too alien to them and that for Molly, in particular, her strong sense of kinship and love of family drew her back to Jigalong.

Like Molly, all teenagers need to have strong sense of self to grow as a person.

Techniques such as, color, camera shots, and sound helped to further my understanding of this important theme and message. Cultural identity is where you come from and how that relates to who you are as a person. The girls’ life in Jigalong before they were taken to Moore River helped me to better understand how important cultural identity was for them, especially Molly, as she is the face of the Lost Generation. In the opening scene of the movie, Molly is seen tracking and hunting an iguana with her family. As she is laughing and running along her grandmother calls her granddaughter rather than Molly. This shows possession and a sense of how Molly belongs to her family. Soon after, Molly catches the iguana they were hunting and is the center of attention.

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The use of a wide shot shows this by how Molly’s family is gathered around her, praising her for her hunting skills. When the policeman Riggs appears watching the girls, Maude tells Molly to “hide those girls.” She does so and then stands in front of them boldly as if challenging Riggs. This shows how empowered Molly is at Jigalong. A. O. Neville’s policy of assimilation planned to destroy the Aborigines cultural identity and their way of life. If successful this policy would take away the Lost Generation’s entire identity and any sense of empowerment. Molly’s life at Jigalong before Moore River helped further my understanding of the significance cultural identity had to her and how Moore River strips her of her power and identity. At Moore River, Molly, Gracie, and Daisy had their freedom, power, and identity, taken away from them by Neville.

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The Theme of Cultural Identity in Rabbit-Proof Fence, a Movie by Phillip Noyce. (2022, Sep 28). Retrieved from

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