I am very much looking forward to the cinema release of the new English/Australian co-production “Oranges And Sunshine”.
Based on the book Empty Cradles by social worker Margaret Humphreys, who in the 1980s stumbled across the plight of around 150,000 children sent from care homes in England to Australia and other Commonwealth countries, into church run or other institutions, where many suffered years of abuse or even forced labour. Many of the children were told their parents had died. Recently both the British and Australian governments finally apologised for the scandal.
Directed by Jim Loach, the film stars Emily Watson in the role of Margaret. Hugo Weaving and David Wenham add support playing some of the abused children as adults. The film looks at the period when the scandal was uncovered. It focuses on the stories to come out of Australia and her relationships with the people she helps to find their families.
The title of the film comes from the promise one man says he was given as a child that in Australia life would be full of “oranges and sunshine”.
It recently premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival and will be competing in the upcoming Rome Film Festival. It will be released in Australia and England early next year.
©Matt Nettheim/SeeSaw Films
Variety gave the film a glowing review:
” this standout debut by British helmer Jim Loach, son of director Ken Loach, will make a strong claim for arthouse berths everywhere”
“the heartbreaking stories Margaret hears will bring tears to most eyes. Without a hint of sensationalism or manipulation”
It will be a powerful and moving film experience and it is a story that needs to be told.
- ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ sheds light on dark episode (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Oranges and Sunshine (variety.com)
- Rome Film Festival unveils lineup (variety.com)