The Montana State University Leadership Institute presents a free award-winning film "Rabbit-Proof Fence" on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theatre (125 Linfield Hall).

Between 1905 and 1971, the Australian government implemented a policy to remove all half-caste aboriginal children from their homes. In an attempt to recondition these children for life in modern white society, they were segregated into internment camps, trained as English-speaking domestic workers, and then converted to Christianity - a universe apart from their traditional life.

Based on a true story, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" illustrates the struggle and heartbreak of three girls violently ripped from their mothers' arms by the government. In response, the eldest young woman unfurls an elaborate plan to escape a dismal future and return to their homes. The girls embark on a 1,500-mile journey, experiencing everything from the bare desolation to torrential downpours of the Australian Outback. Complicating their predicament, the girls must outsmart a tracker who will stop at nothing to find them, a result of the rarity of a successful escape.

The viewer travels alongside their odyssey as these three girls follow a rabbit-proof fence bisecting Australian pasture lands that contains the promise of leading them home. The three children truly depict teamwork and innovative leadership on their voyage of survival as they tackle obstacles with grace.

Director Phillip Noyce accurately and painfully illustrates the timeless struggle for equality and freedom from oppression in a period of Australia's history referred to as "Stolen Generations." This film is not only an Australian Film Institute award winner for Best Film, but Peter Gabriel also received a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Original Score, Motion Picture. This event is free and open to the public. Call the MSU Leadership Institute 994-7275 with any questions.

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