Synopsis of Goodbye Sunshine

It’s an ordinary school day at the home of Junior, Lilia and Alesha in south London.

Lilia, the mother, and Junior, her young son, exchange words of love before he leaves for school. Today he will learn if he’s won his School Year Football Prize. Lilia is sure he has!

As Junior leaves, Lilia throws away some dead flowers. But she cuts her finger and bleeds.

A foreshadowing of things to come.

Alesha, her 17 year-old daughter leaves for college, but not before we see the strong bond between them.

Excited, Lilia starts preparing a celebration cake for Junior.

Then like many loving mothers, she cleans his football boots. She looks at her watch – it’s 6pm.

She’s worried. Where’s Junior? He should be home.  Her “sunshine” should be at home eating his celebratory cake.

Suddenly, Alesha rushes in. There’s been a knife fight in Croydon. Two boys have been stabbed. But who? Lilia is frozen with fear.

An hour later, someone texts Alesha. One of the boys is dead, but it’s not Junior. He’s been taken to hospital. Now, they wait, to hear which hospital he’s in.

Then, out of the blue, a phone call from the police. The worst news. Her sunshine is dead. It was the other boy who survived.

Lilia goes into shock, then denial, as her daughter tries to support her. She’s pulled into a vortex of pain and shock and disbelief.

At the chapel of rest, Lilia is confused. She tells her son to “Get up.”

In the following days, she sets up a shrine to him in her living room, and chats to him.

She reproaches him for not doing what he was told. It’s all a bit disturbing.

Then suddenly, Junior is there. In front of her. As Alesha arrives home, an excited Lilia calls her to come and see Junior. Alesha rushes in to see an empty space.

Now Lilia’s brain moves on a cog: she finally accepts that her son is dead.

A devastating moment. How does a mother deal with the loss of her child?

The film’s signature music is the song “You are my sunshine” – sung hauntingly by  Molly Horan-Corke, my brother’s eldest daughter.