What is the dominant 'reading' you are invited to take when watching Rabbit Proof Fence?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The original question had to be edited.  I think that the dominant reading one has of the film is the lengths to which the powerless demonstrates that they, too, have power.  The Australian government's approach to the Aboriginal people is one in which the latter is classified and dehumanized.  The struggle in the film of the three Aboriginal children have to undertake the 1,200 mile trek back to their home on foot is the condition by which the viewer "reads" their struggle and empathizes with them.  The viewer sees their struggle and recognizes the intrinsic unfairness in the Australian government's treatment of Aboriginal people.  Additionally, there is a fundamental hope present in these three girls being able to escape from oppression.  It does not alter the many impacted by the oppressive policies of the government, but it does provide solace for the viewer to read the struggle of the girls and see them escape.  It is here in which the dominant feeling of the viewer is one of empathy, developing a care and sensitivity for the power of the powerlessness, hope to those condemned to being rendered hopeless.

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