starring Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, David Gulpilil
screenplay by Christine Olsen, based on the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
directed by Phillip Noyce
by Walter Chaw A very small story set on a very large stage, Phillip Noyce's affecting Rabbit-Proof Fence is perhaps the most visually beautiful film of the director's career, proving between this and his other movie from this year, the Graham Greene adaptation The Quiet American, that not only is it possible to go home again (as in Noyce to Australia) but also that it's often wise. Shot on a minimal budget (in the six-million dollar range) with a cast of largely non-professional actors (Kenneth Branagh the main exception), the picture is a tremendous hit among the self-congratulatory film festival/arthouse crowd, who, after all, like to feel as though they're applauding the right things.