Oranges & Sunshine

Oranges & Sunshine

DVD - 2012
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The unforgettable true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who uncovered one of the most controversial scandals of recent times: the organized deportation of innocent children from the UK to Australia, where they were thought to be lost in the system forever. Against overwhelming odds, and with little regard for her own safety, Humphreys reunited thousands of families and brought worldwide attention to a corrupt system and an extraordinary miscarriage of justice.


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May 16, 2018

An excellent film. An eye-opener on this very dark chapter of British, Australian, and Roman Catholic Church history of the 1950's. What the film does not address is why were these children deported from England to Australia? Why were they used as cheap labor and at the mercy of abusive priests and brothers?
Well worth seeing. Highly recommend.

Oct 15, 2017

Wow. Sad story told without histrionics. Very sad that the governments involved in this story took so long to acknowledge their failure to their charges. I believe the same thing happened in Canada - from the British Home Children webpage, it seems it was earlier than this story's timeline (1860s - 1940s). I too plan to read the book now (titled Empty Cradles). I also agree that this is very worth watching although it's not at all a light-hearted film.

Jun 19, 2017

A devastating film based on the book by Margaret Humphreys, an English social worker who encountered a number of children who were deported from the England to Australia in the 1940s and onward. Most of the children ended up in religious or social institutions where many were sexually, physically and emotionally abused. The deportation practice did not end until 1967. The film is based on Margaret Humphreys who personally forced the issue onto the public consciousness/awareness. It has several characters living in Australia and England who were determined to find out whether they had families and mothers still surviving. It is a very emotional story, which seemed to impact so many. Emily Watson is excellent, she portrays Margaret. Her search for justice for these children was very challenging and demanding and often threatening to herself. She wanted some accountability from the English and/or Australian government. Both of which tried to hide behind government bureaucracy. I need to read the book now (titled Empty Cradles looks like SPL has the book, but titled Oranges and Sunshine) to see why the government did it (it isn’t very clear in the film) probably to unload social and financial care for the children. I think the film said 130,000 children were deported to Australia and other places and the British government did not issue a formal apology until 2010. Worth watching - but not a light hearted film.

May 10, 2017

I went into this a bit worried that because of the subject matter, it would be depressing and maudlin, but it was neither. Well-told story that got its point across without histrionics. Good acting all round. Kudos on the direction from Jim Loach, son of the revered Ken. Good to know that films about social injustice will not end with Loach Senior. Especially liked the character played by David Wenham, a tough man who would not be pitied, or pity himself and rose above his situation as best he could.

Apr 16, 2017

Extremely well presented, letting you get just enough of a feel for what things were like for those children, while not being so explicit that you'd want to turn away from the truth. These days there are far too many truths that are too horrible for us to face full on. We rely on investigative "committees" and "commissions," and buy into the watered-down "facts" they feed us. It's a big world, but the Social Worker in this movie didn't let that stop her from persisting until she did the best she could to right a huge wrong. May we all learn from her strength to open our eyes to what is truly going on around us.

Jun 07, 2016

Yes "Oranges and Sunshine" is unforgettable and inspiring. Again it shows the world that one person can make a significant difference in the world. The movie has a great cast and is filmed on location in Britain and Australia. I hope all of you will watch this movie!
It just may make a difference in your life!

Jun 06, 2016

This is a 2010 docudrama directed by Jim Loach, based on the book "Empty Cradles" by Margaret Humphreys.
Deported children were promised oranges and sunshine but they got hard labour and life in institutions such as Keaney College in Bindoon, Western Australia.
Many were given to the Christian Brothers and then they were repeatedly raped.
It is a disturbing and heart-wrenching story discovered in 1987.
It requires further 23 years before the government of Great Britain ans Australia apologised for their child migration schemes.
More than 130,000 children had been deported.
Margaret continues to search for the families of former child migrants.

d2013 Apr 30, 2016

Sad story based on true events. Good acting especially by Emily Watson.

Aug 10, 2015

I saw this last year on PBS; the cruelty of the British and Australian post-war authorities is breath-taking. I could hardly sleep after viewing it. We watch "Call the Midwife", for example, and think, "Oh, the Brits did such a good job of caring for women & children after the war when they instituted National Health. " At least, that's what I thought till I heard about this story. One just can't grasp that priests, nuns, Catholic brothers, British administrators could be so sadistic, but they were. Later, I heard about similar stories occurring in Catholic orphanages in Canada. Of course, American Protestants did the same sorts of things in the 19th and early 20th centuries to Native American children. Whether British, Australian, Canadian, or American, all of us should hang our heads in shame for abusing children just because we could. However, maybe the Brits are the worst because they never admitted it until the late 20th century, and most of us didn't know about it till this century. Who will take care of the children? Who can be trusted to do it?

Aug 10, 2015

I heard a pod cast on this subject so thought I would read and watch the DVD. Very sad story. Great movie

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majonita Oct 05, 2012

majonita thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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wendybird Jan 24, 2013

If you far prefer glossy, light hearted entertainment, give this film a skip. The based-on-truth content dictates the mood : thousands of British children from struggling/single parent homes were deported to Australia following WW II. Only labour and heartbreak awaited them -- not "oranges & sunshine." Emily Watson is a serious, door social worker who uncovers the story by interviewing the now-grown children, and goes public with it. Watson is a marvel in the part, and the story is important -- but perhaps best saved for mid-July viewing when Stratford scenery is also less grey.


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