If I’m going to review The Good Lie, I should start with a truth – I was crying at the end of this film. So was my wife.
The Good Lie stars Reese Witherspoon and tells the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan who survived civil war and a decade in a refugee camp to come to America. We watched last weekend not expecting much as this genre of good-doer films often seems overly simple and unrealistic. Instead, we were left feeling a connection with so many characters maturing in real ways to solve problems without some Deus ex Machina. Perhaps the best part of the film came from the eventual – and not the obvious — heroin. Instead, compassion, patience and love lead to harmony and opening one’s doors to the stranger.
The Good Lie subtlety inserts faith and focus on God’s love without smashing it over the viewer’s head. I appreciated scenes crossing a river while being chased by enemies, praying for a lost friend and aiding a hungry homeless woman illuminates a progression of God’s mercy and kindness and not simply being told what is right. The adaptation of the Word in war-torn Africa was also smartly used.
The Good Lie is a beautiful film in cinematography, showcasing great contrast between Africa’s amazing color and a cold, flat winter in Kansas City. The story is also one filled with emotional conflict to complicated war-torn problems because of ongoing ambivalent immigration policies the United States has failed to solidify. The film puts faces to those caught between failed politics, and reaffirms the good Christian families can do by opening their doors.
That’s why I’ve signed up to raise awareness about The Good Lie and demonstrate support for Peace in Sudan this week.
The ending is absolutely worthy sticking around for, and the greatest surprise was that the main actors playing the Sudanese are related to who lost their lives, or were former Sudanese child soldiers themselves. We understood how they could deliver such an amazing performance after knowing their connections. The film comes out Oct. 23, and supporting films such as The Good Lie are important because if movie studios see interest and strong bottom lines for projects with great plot, values and good works, they’ll keep making them.
On Wednesday, I’m going to participate in a Thunderclap, and don’t worry if you don’t know what it is. I didn’t either. But the idea is pretty cool. It is a platform that organizations use to pledge a Tweet or Facebook post about a particular message to be release at the exact same time. Think of it as flash mob for social media. The idea is to get talking about this incredible movie so that it starts trending and gets out to a wider audience. If you participate, Thunderclap will automatically post a message like this at 1 p.m. this Wednesday Oct. 1. “Join me in watching #TheGoodLie this October and supporting peace in #SouthSudan http://thndr.it/1qgKN75
Joseph Gidjunis is the former Director of the Young Democrats of America Faith & Values Initiative and an award-winning photojournalist who owns JPG Photography in Philadelphia. He serves as a remote fellow for Eleison. He is married with two wonderful dogs.