In class today we watched the movie “The Good Lie”. The Good Lie is a 2014 American-Indian drama film based on a true story. Director Philippe Falardeau and screenwriter Margaret Nagle wants to tell a strong story, but they have been criticized for choosing to wrap the real horrors in an easily digestible Hollywood film.
The film is about the Second Sudanese Civil War`s horrors. The Second Sudanese Civil War was a conflict from 1983 to 2005 between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. It was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile. It lasted for 22 years and is one of the longest civil wars on record. The war resulted in the independence of South Sudan six years after the war ended.
Through the movie we follow the siblings Mamere, Paul, Jeremiah, Theo, Daniel and Abita after an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents. These siblings were among the approximately 20,000 children who walked almost two thousand kilometers from South Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya after losing everything.
The group eventually arrives at a Sudanese refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya.Weeks became months and mounts turned in to years, and they started loosing hope of ever getting out of the camp. Eventually thirteen years after their arrival at the camp, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys s find humor in the clash of cultures and in the challenges of life in America. But it was certainly not always easy for them. They encountered several challenges living in a foreign country with a foreign culture.
There is especially one scene in the film that shows a reaction between strangers, with different cultures, encountering. Jeremiah gets a job at an American supermarket. He was told to throw away old food, and replace it with new. However, despite the orders from his boss he gave some of the food to a starving woman.To Jeremiah that was the right thing to do. His boss on the other hand got angry, he didn’t share the same views and culture. The bosses focus was the economical aspect of it. This shows the clear gap between cultures that have derived from very different areas with different basis for survival. Jeremiah had been through hunger and sorrow, just like the starving woman. His boss hadn’t.
To integrate someone into a culture that they previously haven’t had any encounters with is extremely hard. It might lead to frustration and misunderstanding. I think that the first steps towards integrating into a new society is by participating in the working life, to learn the language and to have understanding for the norms and values of the new culture. All this requires a lot of work and willpower, but it will make peoples life in their new county better.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post, and maybe learned something.