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The Good Lie *** (out of *****)

I’ve long followed the harrowing journey of “The Lost Boys of Sudan” and their lives subsequent to their 1,000 mile walk to safety. Maybe one of the most powerful books I’ve read, and certainly one of my favorite reads a few years ago, was What Is the What, by Dave Eggers. It’s a novel that reads like a true story. Actually, it’s based on the real life story of a Sudanese refugee, a young boy separated from his family during the Sudanese Civil War. (If you’ve never read it, add it to your ‘to read’ list.)

When I heard about the film The Good Lie, I knew I would see it. Then I learned that it was not a documentary but a Hollywood film starring Reese Witherspoon. Still, early reviews said it was true to what occurred in Sudan and what happens when some of these refugees are brought to the US.

The good news is if you don’t know anything about these events, you will learn from this film, both what happened in Sudan in 1983 (and maybe happening again now) and what happens to four young ‘refugees’ who make it to the US. It is their story. (Aside, three of the four actors are, in real life, Sudanese refugees. Also, one of the best child soldier story I’ve read is the terrific memoir by Emmanuel Jal, War Child. Jal plays one of the refugees in The Good Lie.)

The bad news is that Hollywood has cleaned it up and put Reese Witherspoon on the film when it’s not really ‘her’ film. The result is a ‘prettified’ story that starts off strong (in Southern Sudan), and while it tells an important story, ultimately, at least for me, it gets weaker and weaker as it follows the four refugees to the US.

Still, if you don’t know much about the subject matter, and/or if you want to know more about “The Lost Boys,” consider it.

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Two Free Sunday Cinema Club tickets available for the asking.

As we cannot attend, we have two tickets to this Sunday’s (Oct.19) showing of a film at the DC Cinema Club. It begins at 10:30 AM at DC’s Avalon Theater and is usually a worthy film from one of the recent Film Festivals. You will not know what you’re going to see until you arrive. But we generally have enjoyed all of the ones we’ve seen. They are most often documentaries or foreign films, not yet publicly released or may only be released for a short period of time.

You need to let me know if you want the tickets immediately, before Thursday noon. You can leave a note in the Comment section of this post or send me an email. Let me know your phone number so I can arrange to get the tickets to you.