The Good Lie starring Reese Witherspoon releases today. And it's a movie you need to watch.
In my place of work, I have met and had conversations with Sudanese refugees. Their stories are horrific, but need to be told, so the world knows. The Good Lie tells the story of some of the lost boys of Sudan.
Who are the lost boys? In 1983 civil war broke out in Sudan - approximately 2.5 million people were killed - and thousands of children were left orphaned. Over 20,000 children trekked over 1000 miles, looking for safety. Ethiopia was not the safe haven they had been told of, so instead they journeyed to Kenya - and the Kakuma refugee camp.
The Good Lie is the story of three boys and one girl, who spent 13 years in the camp and were then sponsored to relocate in the US. Witherspoon plays Carrie, a hardened job counselor whose life become inextricably entwined with these four.
Oh boy, my emotions ran the gamut on this movie - horror at the war, fear for the children, hope for a new life and sadness for those still in the camps, awe at the courage shown and joy. I laughed out loud in many parts (the chicken crossing the road joke gets new life) and I cried many times. (The reason behind the title will break your heart.)
The Good Lie lets us see North American life through the eyes of a newcomer as they try to learn and navigate the rules, regulations, customs and everyday life we take for granted, but still live by their own core values. I think one of the most telling scenes was when Jeremiah, one of the four, is sent out to throw away the 'old food' to make room for the 'new food' at his grocery stocking job. He helps a homeless woman pick through the food destined for the dumpster - and is promptly berated by the boss. Jeremiah's reaction is one we should all have.
Witherspoon is one of my favourite actresses. She was perfect in this film. The actors playing the four (and their younger selves) all had personal ties to the Sudan either as refugees themselves or children of refugees.
Sadly, I don't think this movie has received the press it should have while at the theatres. It's a five star, thumbs up watch for this viewer. If you're looking for a film that celebrates the human spirit and that will resonate with you after the credits have rolled, The Good Lie is for you. I have a copy of The Good Lie to give away to a randomly chosen reader. Enter at this post.
There's a lovely quote at the end of the movie: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."