Don’t let the cheery title fool you: Oranges & Sunshine actually tells a harrowing tale that’s all the more distubring for being true. In the first feature by director Jim Loach (son of The Wind That Shakes the Barley helmer Ken Loach), a social worker named Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) encounters a woman seeking answers about her past. As Humphreys digs deeper, she uncovers a massive conspiracy to deport thousands of abandoned kids from British children’s homes to brutal work camps in Australia. Hugo Weaving and David Wenham also star.

Though it sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, the events are actually chillingly recent — the real-life Humphreys conducted her investigation in the ’80s and learned that these injustices had taken place during the ’50s and ’60s. Watch the trailer after the jump.

[via Thompson on Hollywood]

The U.S. trailer involves much of the same footage as the earlier trailer, but seems to downplay the tearjerker aspects somewhat in favor of showing off more of the film’s dramatic side. I think the new video looks much more exciting, because you get a better sense of what Humphreys was really up against.

Oranges & Sunshine was recently picked up by Cohen Media, and is expected to hit U.S. theaters sometime next month. The film has already opened in several countries, to mostly positive reviews.

Synopsis:

On a dank night in Nottingham, Margaret Humphreys, a British social worker, is cornered by an angry Australian woman. It is 1986. The woman, Charlotte, tells Margaret, ‘I want to find out who I am.’ She says that she was in a Nottingham children’s home when she was put on a boat and, at just four years of age, sent to Australia. There were several hundred other kids like her. Margaret can barely believe her story. A week later, Margaret learns of a man who was taken to Australia as a boy on another ship full of children. She starts to look more closely at the archives. What begins as an attempt to help Charlotte find her mother, soon turns into the discovery of thousands of other lost sons and daughters… and one of the most significant social scandals of our time.

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