Thinking Aloud: “The Good Lie”

Apr. 12, 2015 by Darius

I recently saw the film The Good Lie.  It’s a Hollywoodized version of the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

The film follows a group of Sudanese children, Theo, Mamere, Jeremiah, Abital, and Paul, as they are forced to flee from their home villages in Bahr el-Ghazal, now northwestern South Sudan, and walk hundreds of miles to Ethiopia then, ultimately, Kenya.  Later, the group is chosen for resettlement in the US as part of the Lost Boys program.  They must adapt to an entirely new way of life and the unique challenges of building new lives while maintaining their identities.

Probably due to its Hollywood origin, The Good Lie tones down, glosses over, or eliminates entirely many of the harshest parts of the story of the Lost Boys, both in Africa and America.  As a result, The Good Lie loses some credibility.

To get a more complete and compelling picture of the Lost Boys’ story, I would highly recommend the book What Is the What (see

If you don’t have time to read What Is the What, though, The Good Lie is a serviceable and often entertaining second choice.

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