Film review: The Good Lie (7 out of 10)

The Good Lie

The Good Lie

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There are plenty of reasons to make a movie but The Good Lie sets out to inform and put a human face on the horrors of the Sudan civil war in the 1980s.

Estimates are that around two million people died as a result of the conflict and the famine and disease it brought in its wake.

Many more were displaced as a result.

This film focuses on one ‘family’ of brothers and sisters who, when their village is attacked, make the long trek to Kenya to safety. They call themselves brothers although they aren’t all related.

Once they make it to a refugee camp they have to wait years before a charity flies them to America to start a new life.

The strength of the movie lies in the fact that the quartet at the centre of the story are indeed Sudanese and former refugees.

This probably accounts for a realistic feel to their acting as, no doubt, the whole experience brought back strong memories.

Reese Witherspoon plays an employment agency counsellor in Kansas where three ‘brothers’ end up.

Their ‘sister’ has been sent to Boston and causes a great source of dismay as they are all desperate to be together as they have been most of their lives.

Witherspoon’s character then gets involved in her charges’ attempt to reunite despite red tape and a widespread distrust after 9/11.

It’s a story that tugs at the heart-strings as we follow the Lost Boys (as they are called) on their journey. The first part of the film attempts to show some of the horrors of the civil war but in reality can only hint at them.

There’s also humour as the Sudanese get to grips with modern life in the US.

But ultimately it’s about friendship and shows how this is a vital part of everyone’s life.

Film details: A Good Lie (12A) 110mins

Director: Philippe Falardeau

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol