The Good Lie
There's no shortage of movies that are American dream based coaxing your emotions to root for things you actually don't morally approve of. The Good Lie doesn't fit in that category and I'm grateful.
They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.” Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.
In “The Good Lie,” Philippe Falardeau, brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Reese Witherspoon stars alongside Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war.
Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them.
As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival.
Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like straws, light switches and telephones are brand new to them.
Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 20th century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that. So Carrie embarks on her own unchartered territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack.
Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys and these unlikely strangers find humor in the clash of cultures, and heartbreak as well as hope in the challenges of life in America.
Elements I appreciate:
The Good Lie does a great job of showing how people from other countries experience the U.S. when they come and how we, for the most part, are completely oblivious to their needs. It also shows the practical needs of what foreigners need when they arrive. I think we can use this information as a way to reach out to international students and refugees that would open up doors for the Gospel to be shared.
I also appreciate getting a good glimpse into the lives of the kids who lived through genocide in Uganda. The educational element of the movie is great.
The acting and storyline were also top notch.
Elements I didn't appreciate:
They take the name of the Lord in vain four times as well as a drug scene and alluding to the main character (who is not a believer) having sex with her boyfriend. Also the title of the movie and the end point is that there is such thing as a good lie. I would have appreciated if they came up with a better way to get their point across.
Overall, it is a well done movie with a few rough edges but demonstrates love, endurance, compassion and self-sacrifice. It helps us see life outside self and leaves you wondering what you can do to help others in the same situation.
I'm giving away a free copy to a randomly picked Missional Women newsletter subscriber, sign up here.
I recently watched The Good Lie and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's such a moving story. It's also refreshing to watch a movie that I have little moral issue with! There is another similar movie titled: God Grew Tired of Us. That is very good. I would highly recommend it if you liked The Good Lie.
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