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Oranges and Sunshine

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Oranges and Sunshine

Jim Loach (2010)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Don't be misled by the deliberately ironic title, which comes from the false promise made to children in care in the UK in the 1940s and 50s, who were forcibly shipped to Australia (and other outposts of Empire) for a "better life" in Paradise. Emily Watson, an actress defined by serious, difficult roles, plays the Nottingham social worker, Margaret Humphreys, who exposed the scandal many years later when she discovered adults who'd in fact been put into slave labour, some believing their parents were dead. Directed by feature debutant Jim Loach - who in terms of political expedience and passion is a credit to his father, Ken - this often painful drama makes good, comparative use of locations in sun-bleached Adelaide and the grey East Midlands, and will swell your heart with indignation (Ken Loach's collaborator on Ladybird, Ladybird, Rona Munro, writes this moving screenplay) over an institutional crime that seems unthinkable. (As Watson's character says, "Why has no one ever heard about it?").


A social worker discovers that, over several decades, thousands of British children have been falsely informed their parents are dead and been forcibly sent to care homes in Australia, where they suffered terrible abuse. She devotes herself to exposing the scandal and helping the victims to find their families. Fact-based drama, with Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham.

Cast & Crew

Margaret Humphreys Emily Watson
Jack Hugo Weaving
Len David Wenham
Pauline Tara Morice
Bill Stuart Wolfenden
Nicky Lorraine Ashbourne
Vera Kate Rutter
Merv Richard Dillane
Susie Aisling Loftus
Director Jim Loach
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Icon Guidance: Swearing. Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 1 Apr 2011


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