The power and intrigue of a story is determined by the subject matter, and how that subject matter is presented. People who make films have the freedom to manipulate any story, or subject matter. Films which portray real historical, and personal events need to be viewed with the understanding that the form of the film needs to coincide with the content in order for it to be credible.
The film Tarnation is a documentary film about a man’s life. John Caouette combines hours of filmed footage from his life. Home movies, photographs from before he was born, answering machine tapes, snippets of short films, and 1980’s pop culture come together to create a fast ...view middle of the document...
The film does not expect the viewer to have much context information. Since this is a personal account, all of the information is given to the audience in scrolling text. The only context one does need to have is a knowledge of some of the 80’s film and music references.
Rabbit Proof Fence is an astonishing film about the horrible racism that occurred in Australia. It is even more about three little Aborigine girls who try to defy it. The three girls are put into a program to train them as servants, and eventually marry white men, to breed the blackness out of them. Since the little girls’ fathers were white, they are now considered to be “half-caste.”
These three untrained actors do a marvelous job of portraying the fear and determination that helped them on their three month treck home across the Outback. This is a documentary film that is showing the history of three women in Australia. At the end of the film there is a series of photographs and excerpts informing the audience of the more recent lives of the characters in the film.
The content of Rabbit Proof Fence is meant to educate. The racism in Australia is not something that is regularly taught in schools. It is an eye opening film because of the true historical content, but also because it deals with the strength and power that children are capable of. If the same story had happened with adults it would not be as effective as it is now.
By today’s standards the film is not conventional. There is no over the top action or drama. This is not a film that many would find interesting to watch. Even though the events are dramatic and tragic, they are portrayed in a calm, almost serene way. However, the imagery makes the movie powerful. The scenery of the Australian desert adds to the awesome lives of the three girls.
The audience of Rabbit Proof Fence needs to have at least a little background knowledge of the Aboriginal people of Australia. At least knowing that they exist, and who they are, helps. The film does not give a history lesson. There is no explanation of the lives of the Aboriginese.
Both Tarnation, and Rabbit Proof Fence are documentaries. The content and form of each movie is completely different. But the relationship...