Miracles are made by people, who refuse to stop believing.
The Lost Boys of Sudan was the name given to thousands of young boys who were orphaned during the second Sudanese Civil War which took place between 1983 and 2005. It’s estimated that about 2.5 million were killed and many more displaced. In 2001 a total of 3800 Lost Boys were given permission to resettle in the USA. The Good Lie tells the harrowing story of three of these boys and their sister, who was separated from them on arrival in the USA. This is not a typical feel good Hollywood movie, although it will tug at both your heart-strings and tear ducts.
We first meet the boys living a care free life in their village. The sound of their laughter is fractured by the sound of a helicopter overhead. This signals the invasion of rebel forces who slaughter everyone in their path and set fire to the village.
A small group of children, who have witnessed their parents being slaughtered manage to escape and began a journey on foot to Kenya. Along the way they encounter thousands of others who have been forced to flee their villages in search of solace in a refugee camp. Theo the eldest of the group sacrifices himself to the rebels to become a child soldier in order to save his siblings, who eventually reach safety at a refugee camp. They remain there for 13 years before being given the chance to relocate to Kansas.
Our main characters are all played by Sudanese actors, three of which were actually caught up in the conflict at the time and lost relatives to the war, and one who was a former child soldier. They are the true stars of the movie. The movie posters however would lead you to believe it’s more a Reece Witherspoon saves the day affair. No doubt this is to draw a bigger audience with a big name star. While she is great in the movie, and I like her as an actress in general as far as contribution goes, she is a supporting actress in this movie.
Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis a recruitment agent tasked with finding work for Jeremiah (Ger Duany), Paul (Emmanuel Jal) and Mamere (Arnold Oceng) when they reach their new home. Inevitably she grows attached to the trio as she learns more about their situation and becomes a champion for their cause.
Together with her boss Jack (Corey Stoll) the two work on reuniting the boys with their sister who has been sent to live with a family in Boston. Finding their feet with new jobs and a new world has it’s ups and downs for the Lost Boys. Some long buried conflicts cause tensions amidst the groups as they struggle to deal with their past and try to build a future.
Following news from Kenya, the final piece of the story comes together when Mamere returns to the refugee came in search of his brother Theo. With no passport or identification papers and no help from the authorities to get him out of Kenya, Mamere is faced with a dilemma; does he leave him on his own or does he sacrifice himself to save the brother who sacrificed so much for him.
For A Good Lie, I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5. It’s a thought provoking story following a story of extreme hardship with strong performances from the Sudanese cast. You can check out the trailer below. It’s in cinemas from Friday April 24th.