vendredi 30 mai 2008

THE RABBIT-PROOF FENCE : A STORY OF THE "STOLEN GENERATION" IN AUSTRALIA






Rabbit-Proof Fence is set in Western Australia in 1931. For 100 years the Aboriginal people had resisted invasion of their land by the white settlers but now, a special law, the Aborigines Act, had come in to place. This allowed the white authorities to control their lives in every detail. In the film Mr. Neville is the Chief Protector of Aborigines which meant he is the legal guardian of every aborigine and has the power to remove any ‘half-caste’ child from their family.
The film follows the true story of a young girl named Molly and her little sister Daisy, 8, and cousin Gracie, 14. They all belonged to the Jigalong mob, a group of Aborigines. The authorities often considered what would be better for the white population; leave the black aborigines to it out in the bush, attempt to integrate them into white society or breed the black out of society all together by making them marry and have children with white people.
The youngest of the three girls had been promised to a full blood Aborigine and so was of particular concern to the authorities. This called for immediate removal from their home. All three girls were captured from their parents and taken to the Moore River Native Settlement. This was a camp for young Aborigines where they were forced to speak English and say grace. The motto of the camp was Duty, Service and Responsibility. Children with fairer skin were considered to be more intelligent and were sent to real schools. But before the girls were separated they decided to run away from the camp and return home. They walked for nine weeks along the Rabbit-Proof Fence, across harsh open land as they knew it would lead them home.

The fence is the longest ever made by man and went down the entire length of Australia. After the girls returned home Molly married and had two children. But again she was captured along with her children and taken to Moore River, and once again she escaped and walked the whole way home carrying her baby. By the time the smallest child was aged three the authorities had taken her again. Aborigines were forcibly removed from their homes until the 1970s but even today they still suffer due to this destruction of family life, culture and identity. Children like Molly are now described as being from the 'Stolen Generation'.
THE APOLOGIES OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO THE STOLEN GENERATION

After many years of denial and refusal to apologize, the Australian parliament made official apologies to the Aborigenes on February 14, 2008.
They apologized for past assimilation policies, in which up to eight generations of Aborigenal children were taken from their families and brought up in white households.
“For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants, we say sorry,” the Prime Minister said. “To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people, we say sorry.”

1 commentaire:

ahmed a dit…

a very touching film