(FYI – I reposted this from my wornoutwoman blog)
Search for ‘The Good Lie’ online and you will find a ton of images of Reese Witherspoon. Although she is vital to the storyline, as she is the life line and the first introduction to America to three Sudanese refugees, the real story lies behind the journey of Theo, Mamere, Paul, and Jeremiah as they search for their sister and their way.
IMDB’s synopsis for this movies will reveal a simple statement, saying ‘Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri. where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives’. However it is so much more, so please don’t sell this movie short and don’t enter empty handed … meaning have a tissue box in hand.
As I’ve lived overseas, I feel like every American should experience another culture abroad, as it will teach you how blessed we are in the United States. Seeing yourself from an outside cultural perspective, does everyone good. Coming from Japan and stepping back onto American soil, I truly understood why the term ‘ugly American’ was used. The loud dialects and harsher aspects to life were glaringly obvious to me, as I’d been looking at life through another cultures’s spectacles.
In putting myself in these character’s shoes, I could not fathom living in a world where life had gone on the same for thousands of years, without modern conveniences … only to be disrupted by a war, in which children were left to fend for themselves by using only the knowledge left to them by their elders. Talk about growing up fast. As these Sudanese childrens’ survival instincts kicked in, they fought for each other to live and move forward … on not just a daily basis but in some instances minute by minute was the difference in life or death.
Fast forward thirteen years, and these children are now essentially adults, who’ve survived in a refugee camp, waiting for their chance to come to America for a better life. Enter Reese Witherspoon’s character, which doesn’t really appear until half way in to the story. As rough around the edges as she is – her intuition and spirit allow her to see that there is more to the story with these ‘so called’ refugees that she’s been assigned to help find employment. She’s portrayed as a burdened, tough young woman, who lives life looking out for herself, until these three young men enter her life. Reese, who plays Carrie Davis, against her better judgement takes it upon herself to oversee Mamere, Paul, and Jeremiah, making sure they not only adjust to life in America but she also takes steps to bring their family together in ways that are unexpected and heartwarming.
The Good Lie’s message intertwines through Mamere’s story (he is seen in the forefront of the photo above) from his childhood through his adulthood, with the premise that if a lie is told, which is meant to better the lives or save the lives around him, then it is a ‘good lie’. Even though lying is against every fiber in his being, he takes this premise to heart as a good lie has been told for him at one point in his life which was meant for his preservation – which he in turn does years later for someone close to him.
This movie is definitely one to watch, and I would recommend it to anyone. There are two bad words in it … one of them being GD … so I’ll leave that up to your own parental discretion. I am waiting until my child is older because of that one word, but again … it’s up to each person to ascertain what is appropriate for their own family.
AND … drum roll … I have a copy to give away at the end of the month. I’ll be posting this link on twitter and on my Facebook page, so that all my readers have a chance to win the copy. If you’re interested in winning your copy – either leave me a message here or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be drawing a name at the end of the month.