A shocking true story about child deportation to Australia is told with delicacy and restraint in Oranges and Sunshine, the directorial debut of Jim Loach, son of Ken.
Emily Watson plays Margaret Humphreys, the social worker from Nottingham who, in the Eighties, stumbled upon a scheme that deported hundreds of children in care to Australia where many were placed in the charge of the Christian Brothers and appallingly mistreated.
The picture isn’t as dramatically charged or informative as you might expect, focusing less on Margaret’s efforts to uncover the truth, and more on the psychological damage on the now adult children.
Yet it is moving and powerfully acted, especially by Hugo Weaving’s Jack who is desperate to trace his mother.
Oranges and Sunshine 3/5 (15, 110mins) Director: Jim Loach Stars: Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham