British social worker Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) is approached in the street one night by a distraught Australian woman who begs her to try to locate her mother. The woman thrusts a thin file at Margaret that represents everything she knows about her past: ie, not much.
As a result, Margaret uncovers a social scandal in which thousands of young British kids living in care (often only temporarily) were sent out to Australia after WWII, having been told that their parents were dead. The parents were told their kids had been adopted. In fact they were sent to church-run institutions in Australia where many were abused and used as virtual slave labour.
This is a true story, delicately handled in this understated film – which will provoke outrage and sadness in equal measure. 7/10
Released May 12, 2011