The series kicks off on Friday, January 22 at 7:00 PM with the British film, ORANGES AND SUNSHINE. In this heart-wrenching fact-based drama, social worker Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) uncovers the horrific scandal of forced child migration from the UK. Between the 1940s and ’50s, and as recently as 1967, nearly 130,000 British children, some orphaned and some forcibly removed from their homes, were packed into ships and sent to Australia. Told their parents were dead, the youngsters were promised a paradise where they could pick oranges off of trees. However, instead of oranges and sunshine, the children were forced into hard labor and sometimes abused. It’s only through Margaret’s determined efforts that the scandal was fully realized and the grown victims were able to reunite with their families. British Film Critic, Jeremy McCartney of the “Telegraph.co.uk” said director “Jim Loach excels with direction that is compassionate and understated: honoring the victims without smothering them in sentimentality. Thus, one becomes quietly aware of the enormity of the wrong that was done to the children: they were so desperately young, and so entirely alone.”[2010, UK, Runtime: 105 minutes, Rated R]
The series continues on Saturday, January 23 at 1:30 PM with the Scottish drama, DEAR FRANKIE. Winner of seven film festival awards in 2004, the film received a 15 minute standing ovation when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. A working class fairy tale, DEAR FRANKIE is the story of nine-year-old Frankie and his mother Lizzie. Frankie remembers nothing of the abuse he suffered as a child and his mother is determined to keep it that way. Through a Glasgow post office box he maintains a regular correspondence with someone he believes is his father. The letters, secretly authored by Lizzie, detail seafaring adventures from around the globe. But she cannot maintain this charade forever and torn between telling the truth and protecting her son, Lizzie gets more than she bargained for when she hires a handsome stranger to play the role of a lifetime. “Radio Times” in the UK awarded the film four out of a possible five stars and commented, "This simple story is rich with precise observation and it tugs at the heartstrings without being maudlin or manipulative ... With its sincere and perceptive script, the beautifully shot film vividly captures the raw emotions of its complex characters.” [2004, Scotland, Runtime: 105 minutes, Rated PG-13]
The series concludes on Sunday, January 24 at 1:30 PM .