Wednesday, April 23

Just a little bit of history repeating

Watching Rabbit-Proof Fence last night reminded me of how much I used to love history -- and how important it is to learn about both the great and horrible things that we have done. I'd never heard of Australia's "Stolen Generations" before; apparently, there was a long-standing practice in Australia of taking "half-caste" (half Aboriginal, half white) children away from their families to better integrate them into white society. The movie is based on the true story of three little girls who are taken, but who run away and then walk some 1500 miles to return to their mother.

"Following the Rabbit-Proof Fence," about the making of the film, was included on the DVD. The three girls were total novices. It was amazing to watch how they were chosen and the process which produced such fine performances. At one point, an interviewer asks Everlyn Sampi if she'd like to become "a black Nicole Kidman," and she replies, "Nah, Cathy Freeman." Freeman, for those who don't remember, won the gold in the 400 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and carried both the Australian and Aboriginal flags for her victory lap.

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