...his Christian Brother carers competed to become the first to rape him 100 times.
April 8, 2011 12:42 AM   Subscribe

Oranges and Sunshine is a film by Jim Loach, son of Ken, telling the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who helped uncover a British Stolen Generation, children taken from often-living parents and shipped overseas. The Guardian interviews Harold Haig, one of the victims of the policy:
She was the first to raise the possibility that Haig had been told a terrible untruth – that he might not be an orphan after all. "I didn't think anyone would be so cruel to tell you that sort of a lie," he says. [His mother] had died just a year before he first visited Britain.
posted by rodgerd (10 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I don't understand this.

Release date
UK 1 April 2011
Australia 9 June 2011
New Zealand 4 August 2011
posted by Virtblue at 1:16 AM on April 8, 2011

Nice interview about this with Loach on Mayo and Kermode, where Mayo asked if, given his ancestry, his first film was always going to be political and realist, or whether he might have made Sucker Punch. Loach responded that he used to be encourage to watch all kinds of film as a child, but that probably it would have led to an interesting conversation over dinner if he had made Sucker Punch.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:48 AM on April 8, 2011

The scenes in the film that deal with the Christian Brothers and the site at Bindoon are pretty intense. The Catholic Argicultural College at Bindoon is still there and has a web site which gives some history and mentions the migrant children. Not surprisingly, it neglects to mention that the place was largely built by migrant children, and the abuses they suffered.
posted by memebake at 2:11 AM on April 8, 2011

The Guardian has a good article from 2010 about Margaret Humphreys' work, what she's been up against, and the toll it's taken on her and her family.

This quote really stood out for me:
It hasn't helped that it has all gone on far longer than she ever expected. At first Humphreys thought all she had to do was tell people what was happening. There would be outrage, and "people would want to sort out this terrible mess. Not the past – that's complex. But this. This solution" – of helping people who wanted to find their families. But in 1993 John Major told parliament that "any concern about the treatment of the children in another country is essentially a matter for the authorities in that country" and effectively washed his hands of it.
Seventeen years later, the British Government finally apologised. The Australian Government had done so the year before.

People like Margaret Humphreys restore my faith in humanity. What an incredible woman.
posted by Georgina at 2:30 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't understand this. Release date...

Distributors stagger the release of smaller-scale movies around the world so that they don't have to make as many prints, but can instead ship the same ones around to new locations. It used to be that way for all movies, and the delays were even greater: Australia got Star Wars five months after the US in 1977, and in my home state it didn't turn up until 1978.

This is a UK film, so will open here first, but has obvious Australian interest and so will open there next.
posted by rory at 2:52 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm amazed it has taken so long for a film to be made about this story. I first remember hearing about the tragedy of child migrants when the TV series The leaving of Liverpool screened in Australia in 1992. (If you can get hold of it, it's excellent).
posted by girlgenius at 4:27 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another discussion about the film with Loach on BBC Radio 3 (streaming / mp3) conducted by Philip Dodd, who I cannot recommend highly enough as an interviewer.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:29 AM on April 8, 2011

Thank you for posting this. Although familiar with the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, I had not heard of British children who were 'deported' to Australia. It seems I may never comprehend the breadth of cruelties that mankind visits upon their own. This is deplorable.
posted by PepperMax at 10:34 AM on April 8, 2011

The Leaving of Liverpool was made because David Hill, then managing director of the ABC, was himself one of the stolen children.
posted by rdc at 12:56 PM on April 8, 2011

"children taken from often-living parents..."

Whoa ... there's the revelation. The children of parents who've lived many times are probably the subjects of intense research. I wonder how often they lived?
posted by Twang at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2011

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