The year 1989 brought a lot of turmoil to the country of Sudan. A civil war that was leaving whole villages desolated. Thousands of children, boys and girls, were left fatherless and to fend for themselves to find shelter, food, and water. They traversed several hundred miles to find a save refugee camp in Kenya. Based on original stories, The Good Lie follows five children who go against all odds of survival. They lived 13 years in the camp until they are given the opportunity to come to the United States for the chance of a better life. They are known as “The Lost Boys.”
Belcourt Theatre is known for showing interesting films that maybe slightly off the beaten path but today was different. After al;, it’s not everyday that there is a major movie premiere in the heart of Nashville, TN. Reese said it herself, this was the first time she had ever been able to preview one of her movies “in her own backyard.”
In the first film from the new production company, Black Label Media, the film makers, Molly Smith (producer on The Blind Side), Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill were very dedicated to bringing authenticity to the project.
The coolest part of the premiere, and what makes this movie special in it’s own right, was actually getting to talk to the kids. Every Sudanese actor was either a “Lost Boy” themselves or the child of one. Each person had a million life experiences that we in our comfortable chairs and laptops can’t even fathom.
Just two of the amazing stories of actors that were found to play these roles include Ger Duany, a former Sudanese Lost Boy who emigrated to the U.S. and became a professional model, and fellow ex-child soldier-turned-hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal.
Actor Peterdeng Monyok, 12, plays one of the main child roles in the film. His actual mother, Flora Deng, played her part as mother in the film and walked they were able to walk the red carpet together.
“I was so happy for someone to really tell my children what I have gone through and pass the message to the world that those people need help,” Flora said. “The people in South Sudan have gone through a lot, and … they matter for society.”
Knowing the background of the film made me appreciate it even more. Philippe Falardeau, who wrote and directed of the Oscar–nominated Foreign Language film “Monsieur Lazhar” helps us see the pains and trials as well as the hope and humor of these brave individuals.
I very much enjoyed this film. Though I didn’t quite get to tears, it is a story that will stay with me for some time. I really appreciated the balance between drama and humor. At times it is graphic but there is no other way to tell what horrific things these survivors went through. In high school I had met someone who called himself a Lost Boy and said that he had walked hundreds of miles to safety during a war. I heard the words he said but never understood what it meant, until I saw this film. But as I said the film had balance. It was funny. There are several one line quotes that I still laugh at in my mind.
There is no doubt that you should see this film. if only for the punch of gratitude you get when you realize, your life really isn’t all that hard.