The Good Lie may have taken over eleven years to get from page to screen but during that time writer Margaret Nagle never lost hope.
The Good Lie
The Good Lie may have taken over eleven years to get from page to screen but during that time writer Margaret Nagle never lost hope. She knew she had a powerful and heart stirring story to tell and it just needed the right people to come along. The tale of the Lost Boys of Sudan has always been an intriguing saga and this current film captures not only their struggle to reach safety but how the passage to America was just another step in a long journey. Based on true events with breathtaking shots of the African landscape don’t think this is just another white man to the rescue film. Reese Witherspoon’s face may fill the poster but her role is not as you would think.
The film chronicles four young children as they flee the fighting in Sudan to make the unbelievable walk to the safety of the refugee camps. They have lost everything but their faith and their will to survive. It is hard to fathom and painful to watch. They were just children alone and forgotten. The film quickly jumps to the early 2000’s when as adults Mamere (Arnold Oceng), Abital (Kuoth Wiel), Jeremiah (Ger Duany), and Paul (Emmanuel Jal) finally get on the list to come to America. Once they arrive in Kansas City Kansas it is a culture shock filled with humor, rejoicing, and of course hardships. To go from nothing to having all that this country takes for granted was a learning curve. This is a film about never losing hope and the ability to hang on to faith when faith is all you have.
It is sobering to look at our lifestyle and culture through the eyes of those who came from nothing. Our over indulgence and wastefulness is embarrassing. This film isn’t agenda driven nor does it shove this message in our face but you can’t help but see it. In many ways we have become jaded and in doing so have been robbed of a tiny bit of our soul. The genuine innocence of these characters is refreshing. They truly love and care for one another because it is the nature of humanity. It is proof that people can take away everything except who you rightly are. There is one scene in particular when one of the men shares a joke with the others and they laugh openly and honestly. It was a reminder that we often become way too serious about things that mean nothing.
Reese Witherspoon also stars in the film as a tough edged agent from the employment office tasked with placing them in the work force. She takes a back seat in this one but her character does add some depth and moments of humor. She is another reminder of how we get so focused on the job and lose sight of the person. It is when we take a step back and breathe a little that we find the heartbeat of life.
The Good Lie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence, brief strong language and drug use. It is safe for those teens in your house hold but be ready to openly dialogue about the evils that take place in our world. This is a sweet, beautiful picture of the human spirit and there is nothing in it that is offensive. I give it 3.75 out of 5 happy meals. We all need a reminder sometimes of how good we have it and how to find faith when we don’t.
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