Directed by Jim Loach Written by Rona Munro
Screening at Picturehouse from
"Oranges and Sunshine"
tells the poignant true story of over 130,000 children who were shipped
off to Australia in the post-war era, up to as recently as 1970. They
had been in care in the UK but the empirical 'powers that be' sent them
half way around the world just like the convicts a century before, and
they also serve a life sentence.
Emily Watson is perfectly cast as the sympathetic Nottingham social worker
Margaret Humphreys, who in 1986 was accosted by an antipodean-accented
woman desperately searching for any trace of her former life in England
(before she was dispatched age four to Australia.) This initial contact
uncovered a secret the British and Australian governments had been keeping
under wraps for decades, and which they only officially acknowledged and
apologised for in 2010. Its never too late to say sorry, but it won't
give people back the innocent childhoods they lost.
Margaret's unstinting lifelong quest to reunite the grown-up children
in Australia with family members back in the UK, met with mixed results;
plus her efforts were not always appreciated by those who had something
to hide, but its a story that needed to be told. It demonstrates that
sometimes one person can make a difference, and director Jim Loach (son
of acclaimed director Ken Loach) shows that with "Oranges
And Sunshine" the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.