The Australian-born Hollywood film director Phillip Noyce built most of his career on thrillers and action adventures, but this year he has simultaneously released onto the market two highly political films. One is his adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American set in Vietnam in the 1950s. In Noyce’s hands, the film outdoes even the novelist’s anti-Americanism and support for the Communists then trying to take control of the country.
The second film, Rabbit-Proof Fence, is ostensibly an adventure story of female bravery and ingenuity in which three Aboriginal girls escape from an oppressive institution in Western Australia and make a fifteen-hundred-mile journey back to their home. In reality it is a work every bit as politically committed as Greene’s. If anything, the anti-Australianism of the latter film outdoes the anti-Americanism of the former.