THE GOOD LIE: Hollywood Goes Beyond Entertainment

Posted by

Last Tuesday night at Regal South Beach Cinemas, Miami Film Society members were treated a special preview screening [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][view photo gallery]—followed by an illuminating Q&A—of The Good Lie, a drama by Canadian filmmaker Philippe Falardeau, writer and director of the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar (featured at MiamiFF29 in 2012). The Good Lie sheds light on the tragic real-life experiences of Sudanese refugees orphaned by war, known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. Falardeau’s involvement with the subject began with a documentary assignment in South Sudan cut short by escalating hostilities in 1994. He had the feeling he was abandoning the Sudanese, and that feeling stayed with him until he read Margaret Nagle’s script for The Good Lie.

MiamiFF executive director, Jaie Laplante, actor Kuoth Weil, actor Arnold Oceng, screenwriter Margaret Nagle at Regal South Beach

MiamiFF executive director, Jaie Laplante, actor Kuoth Wiel, actor Arnold Oceng, screenwriter Margaret Nagle at Regal South Beach

The film stars Reese Witherspoon, who portrays an employment agency counselor who helps a group of Lost Boys arriving in Kansas City adjust to American life after they win a lottery for relocation to the U.S.—following 13 years in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. London-based actor Arnold Oceng, who stars as Mamere in the film, was born to a Sudanese mother who fled the war zone with him after his father died when he was two-years-old. During the Q&A, Oceng mentioned his role in the film was essentially a tribute to his father as he “had to open a closed book,” and that it broke his heart not knowing about his Sudanese history. Kuoth Wiel, who plays Mamere’s sister, Abital, lost her father, a doctor, to the civil war in Sudan when she was five. She was born in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, and her own brother, one of the Lost Boys, walked to Ethiopia and then Kenya before emigrating to the U.S. “I hope that what audiences take away from this is the concept of the story and the universal struggles that we all have to go through as humans.”

Scenes from The Good Lie

Scenes from The Good Lie

The Good Lie is to be released by Warner Bros. in Miami on October 24th, and is going beyond entertainment with The Good Lie Fund—a philanthropic initiative created in conjunction with the Tides Foundation—dedicated to supporting the humanitarian and education needs of the South Sudanese refugees and their communities in the U.S. and internationally. The Good Lie is not really a war story, but one of relationships and the basic need for a family—blood or otherwise—to stick together in order to survive.  —Tatyana Chiocchetti[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.