such as the removal of 'half-caste' children from their families, as well as e the prohibition of marriages between 'half-castes' and 'full-bloods' and the ^ active encouragement of marriages between 'half-caste' women and Euro- D pean men. In 1937, he led a Commonwealth meeting on this issue, asking: ° 'Are we going to have a population of 1 million blacks in the Commonwealth D or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there ever were any Aborigines in Australia?'25 The film dramatises this aspect of Neville's thinking in his delivery of a lecture on his policies of child removal to a group of women from a local ladies benevolent society. The scene contributes nothing to the plot; indeed, as Noyce suggests, scenes like this one distract from the drama of the journey. Rather, the function of this particular scene is to show the political, legal and administrative context for the girls' situation, fulfilling the film's political aim of communicating the findings of Bringing Them Home, including the racist, genocidal thinking that underpinned policies of Aboriginal child removal.
It should be noted, however, that while this visible tension between realistic historical detail on the one hand and a highly conventional plot on the other takes a specific form in Rabbit-Proof Fence, it is by no means unique to this film. Nor is it, as Akerman suggests, foreign to Australian cinema. On the contrary, this visible tension is characteristic of a subgenre of Australian action-adventure films known as lost in the bush or lost children films. So already we can see how Rabbit-Proof Fence looks outward to global cinema through its use of elements from Hollywood genres while at the same time backtracking across well-worn ground in Australian national cinema.
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