Playing The Orphanage (English subtitles)

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2007 movie trailer



Laura spent the happiest years of her childhood growing up in an orphanage by the seaside, cared for by the staff and fellow orphans whom she loved as brothers and sisters.

Now, thirty years later, she returns with her husband Carlos and Simon, their 7-year-old son, with a dream of restoring and reopening the long-abandoned orphanage as a home for disabled children. The new home and mysterious surroundings awaken Simon's imagination, and the boy starts to spin a web of fantastic tales and not-so-innocent games... a troubling web that begins to disturb Laura, drawing her into the child's strange universe which resonates with echoes of long-forgotten, deeply troubling memories of her own childhood. As the opening day draws near, tension builds within the family.

Carlos remains sceptical, believing that Simon is making everything up in a desperate bid for attention. But Laura slowly becomes convinced that something long-hidden and terrible is lurking in the old house, something waiting to emerge and inflict appalling damage on her family

I wonder if it's time for a "re-make"?

Considering so many people do not care for the "supernatural" in this sort of movie-thriller, I wonder if there are any movie-makers willing to do an orphange film based on reality?

In case anyone needs a story-plot to outline, those "with film" might be interested in following this piece about Jersey by Liz Davies:

Jersey care leavers and whistleblowers are fearing the worst - that the truth about child abuse including alleged murder may never be exposed, and perpetrators will not be brought to justice. For some of us who have been involved in the investigation of institutional and organised abuse since the early 1990's there is a sense of déjà vu. 

In 1995, the Islington Inquiry concluded that allegations concerning 61 children reported as possible victims of organised network and ritualistic abuse were not substantiated. The authors said that Islington police, Scotland Yard and the social services inspectorate had found insufficient evidence. Yet, as the social worker who reported these issues, I know what I witnessed and recorded. I was doing the work of child protection I was employed to do and I still do not fully understand why it was so important to deny at every level these most serious crimes against children.   I believe the Inquiry was misinformed.

Throughout the 1990s, a great deal of professional knowledge emerged about the international child sex abuse industry and methods of investigating organised abuse. We learnt that abusers exert their power and influence, feed us misinformation and divert our attention to protect their activities. They seep into our academic and political worlds and persuade us that survivors of child abuse invent stories and that whistleblowers are over-zealous and obsessive. Jersey must learn these, and other, lessons from the UK.

Fear and intimidation

The Jersey police, as was the case in Islington, are unsure of which professionals in other services were actively involved in the abuse of children, who colluded with the abuse or failed to protect children through fear, intimidation, incompetence or inexperience.This makes joint investigation problematic. There is already emerging evidence of UK children placed in Jersey children's homes and of children sent to and fro on holidays.It is therefore important for the UK to assist the Jersey government and police through widening the investigation to include the mainland and to establish an independent social work and police team. Given the proximity of Jersey to France there must be also be liaison with the French authorities.

The Islington Inquiry identified 32 staff members who were deemed unsuitable to work with children. These names were placed on the Protection of Children Act list to prevent them from working with children and every effort was made to identify their current places of work.  Where prosecution is not possible in Jersey these other protective measures must be firmly in place.

Accounts of care leavers

In Islington very few survivors came forward and very few professionals blew the whistle.  The Jersey investigation is unique in the extent to which police are informed by the accounts of care leavers and survivors and intensive forensic work. With the internet, and increased public knowledge about child abuse, the climate and opportunity for disclosure is very different from even ten years ago.

In the absence of prosecutions there are likely to be current child victims. The Jersey investigation provides an opportunity for both the UK and Jersey governments to demonstrate a willingness to support staff, children, adults and families in speaking out  to inform both current and historic investigation.

Liz Davies, social worker and senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, blew the whistle on the Islington child sex abuse scandal in the 1990s

Where is the happy ending?

Over the years I have seen many films and even the most disturbing ones have at least some resolution in the end. Although it goes against reality, in most films there is some triumph of good over evil.

That observation doesn't mean I am against a film about Haut de la Garenne, in fact I am all for it and I am all for a film which shows how wrong-doers get away with their practices, but I also believe not many people want to buy a ticket to reality and rather pay for a 120 minute fantasy in which some super hero saves the world from tyranny and disaster.

Looks better than "The Orphan"

I'll have to look for this to watch, but I wanted to share my thoughts on orphans and orphanages.
We're supposed to believe the super-heroes are the ones who rescue the poor children from the orphanage. But no one is watching the behind-the-scenes activity. Each time a super-hero rescues and "saves" a child, a few more "poor children" are slipped in the back-door, so more can be sold to the nice white strangers.
What good are super-heroes, if they leave without making sure the people inside the scary doors aren't doing the same damn thing they always did to the young and the vulnerable?
There are no heroes in adoption. There's only a bunch of people feeling good about themselves because they did the absolute bare minimum to improve an overwhelming problem. The ghosts do not lie.

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