Transcript for Roger's Office: Oranges and Sunshine
Between the 1940s and 1967, hundreds of thousands of British children, some as young as four, were separated from poor families and single mothers and shipped to Australia. This is Bill Kurtis speaking for Roger Ebert. The shocking new movie "Oranges and Sunshine" tells the story of how mothers and children were lied to, and families destroyed. Emily Watson plays a social worker who discovers that one woman's mother was still alive.
Starting with a single case, the social worker, named Margaret Humphries, went to Australia, appeared on TV, and found hundreds more. After parents were found unfit on dubious grounds, children were moved halfway around the world to church institutions, where some of them were abused.
Their parents were assured they had been sent to "a loving family," and given no other information.
Many individual stories are heartbreaking.
As the scandal grew, Humphrey established an organization and raises a fund for it, and finally, in 2009, there were formal apologies by the British and Australian governments to the victims.
The movie never answers the question: They had to be fed, sheltered and educated for years. Where'd the money come from? Were the children simply a pretext for the flow of funds? "Oranges and Sunshine" is a powerful film that answers some questions and raises others. Thumbs up.