It’s not very often that I
get out of my cave go out just to go out, so I hunted for my high heels, arranged a date with some amazing ladies from my church, and let my wild hair down for the private screening of The Good Lie movie.
To give you a little synopsis, The Good Lie is Warner Brothers production, directed by Ron Howard, and starring Reese Witherspoon. The film tells a fictional story based on the realities of the Lost Boys of Sudan: kids ages 7 to 17, mostly boys, who were displaced or orphaned during the civil war and experienced horrors: from walking barefoot thousands of miles, grieving and witnessing the death of their families, becoming child soldier or slaves, to growing up with deep trauma.
Out of 20,000 who traveled to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, only 4,000 were relocated to the United States. In The Good Lie, Reese Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis, an employment counselor who is assigned to help three of these refugees from Sudan to resettle and find jobs in the United States. They have the added pain of being separated from their sister because of INS policies.
I cried through the entire movie – audible sniffles and gasps, at that. My eyes were so swollen when I got home that my 13 month old wanted to comfort me so much she wouldn’t breastfeed. I am known to be
a crier emotional, so after watching the trailer, it is a mystery to me why I forgot to bring tissues.
Here are the Top 5 things I LOVE from The Good Lie Movie:
- Simple Joys ~ The pre-war scenery was very familiar to me: living in a hut, carrying water from a nearby river, no toys, no car, no phone, no microwave, no toilet! Farm animals wandering around, fearlessly playing with tarantulas and other wild bugs, and getting into fights with your siblings to then make up and sing and dance together, sharing what little we had – with a smile. Their childhood was like my childhood —except for the lions and tigers, of course. Seeing myself in them yet finding so many other ways I couldn’t relate to them or even imagine after war invaded their lives, I could understand the Survivor’s Guilt the movie depicts almost perfectly:Sometimes the gratitude that you didn’t have to go through a sad or traumatic experience is clouded by the knowledge that others have, do, and will continue to in this life.
- Relentless Hope. ~ I don’t think anyone should ever suffer these tragedies, especially little children. My heart aches knowing that millions of Sudanese children have died – that is a lot of Heavenly Father’s children! I was INSPIRED by their determination to LIVE and not give up hope even amidst such inhuman circumstances. The most joyful people I’ve met, those who sing and dance and smile, are those who have been through the most difficult challenges, which is “very Romans 15:13;” a testimony that God sustains us with hope, peace, and joy through the adversest of journey (this was evidenced in the movie by the Bible they carried at all times).
- Focus on Legacy. ~ As a word nerd, I love all words, but one my very favorites and that describes my personal mission is LEGACY. I want to inspire my descendants and to live in their hearts, and because of this, one of the most touching aspects of the movie for me was how the Sudanese boys’ carried their ancestors’ names, traditions, and counsel in their hearts and made it a part of their lives. I sobbed intensely about the fact that they “didn’t remember their mothers’ voice, but they remembered their words!” This simple yet mighty statement deeply motivates me a writer, blogger, and author, because my words can live beyond my voice. And so can YOURS.
- Family Unity. ~ Because The Lost Boys of Sudan were brutally separated from their families, you will see a lot of value placed on family ties on The Good Lie movie. The characters’ added separation to their sister reminded me of my personal struggles with rigid immigration rules that didn’t allow me to take my children so I could move back to my family in the Dominican Republic when I was left a jobless single mom. BORDERS are so REAL, even when you’ve flown over them! I believe that true separation occurs when we forget who we are, when we are not true to our values, when we place borders between one another. Reese Witherspoon’s character, Carrie, is sassy and feisty lady with questionable language and a very messy house and romantic life. She’s that woman we all want to judge and The Savior warned us not to (John 8:7). I was reminded that underneath it all, we all feel pain, loss, and fear, and we are all fighting some type of personal battle. We are brothers and sisters, designed with the same nature, and with the same purpose: to love, respect, and forgive one another as family.
- Cultural Diversity. ~ You will get lots of laughs (even with tears rolling down your cheeks), because cultural shock can be funny. Our family was blessed that one of my siblings was sponsored through Compassion in the D.R. and another came to the United States on a scholarship to Columbia University. The host family that received my brother had to explain some really interesting things to him and some of his friends were “taught” what a TV was and what the fridge was for and we laugh every time he tells the story, especially because he had studied (and taught) ESL before coming and they were speaking to them in “slow broken English.” I first came to the USA as a college student in the Work and Travel program and, by that time, I had worked to the point of coming out of poverty and being able to afford some “luxuries” (like my own AC unit!!!). By the time I moved to California permanently, I had already achieved great corporate success, bought a condo, and spoke more English than Spanish on a regular basis. That still did NOT prevent me from feeling lost and misunderstood, and I still do at times. I appreciate The Good Lie movie’s rendition of how embracing cultural diversity promotes peace and love in the world.
I highly encourage you to watch this powerful movie – and to bring plenty of tissues. The movie comes out tomorrow, Friday, October 3rd. It really impacted me to learn about The Lost Boys of Sudan and to see some of them act out their story on the big screen. The most important message is that many children are still going through these horrific experiences in South Sudan TODAY, and The Good Lie Fund is providing an opportunity to contribute to make the situation better. I think it’s really easy to disconnect from everyone’s issues, especially when you’re privileged or live in a privileged country, but it is so crucial that we start getting involved and in the know of what happens in other parts of the world — and even in our own community!
I’m really grateful I was able to spend some girl time watching a meaningful film that was enlightening, entertaining, and empowering. And may I add, NOT rated R? Yay!
Where will you be watching The Good Lie movie?