Doggedly pursuing the truth, Humphreys goes to Australia and encounters dozens of the now-adult migrants – including Hugo Weaving’s fragile Jack and David Wenham’s swaggering self-made Len – and learns how instead of the promise of “oranges and sunshine” they instead faced years of mistreatment and abuse.
Loach relates all this soberly and straightforwardly. It’s a good move. The child deportees’ fate is shocking enough on its own and doesn’t require the filmmaker to whip up any additional hysteria. Admittedly, Rona Munro’s script is a bit earnest and plodding, but Watson’s blazing integrity as Humphreys ensures the story still leaves the viewer reeling in outrage.