The Good Lie: Film Review


I would recommend The Good Lie to everyone not just because it is a beautiful story but because it is one I have never heard before. I had no idea about the refugee settlement programme that brought those from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the U.S. to start a new life.

The film follows a group of children who trek thousands of miles from South Sudan to Ethiopia, then to Kenya, to escape the Sudanese Civil War which has killed their parents. They face death along the way and years living in the Kakuma camp until the remaining four  of their tribe – Mamere (Arnold Oceng), Jeremiah (Ger Duany), Paul (Emmanuel Jal) and Abital (Kuoth Wiel) – are selected to move to Kansas City – except the only female Abital, who is relocated to Boston on her own. They are paired with Carrie (Reese Witherspoon), a recruitment agency worker, who tries to get them jobs.


Although Witherspoon is the biggest name in this project, she is not made the star and the cast of relative unknowns are given the limelight. The majority of the cast were resettled refugees themselves or their parents were so they bring a realism to the role due to that knowledge. The writer Margaret Nagle really had to challenge producers to let the first 45 minutes of the movie focus on these unknown children in Africa rather than introduce Witherspoon in a more comfortable film location.

I enjoyed this so much because it was absolutely fascinating and depicts a story I had personally never seen before. The trek they endured is brutal and heartbreaking but the film also has a lot of humorous moments when they move to the U.S. and don’t understand basic things, such as a light switch. Carrie has no idea what they have been through and is reluctant to help them understand the ways of American life.  It also makes you see our way of living through their eyes, such as how much we waste food.


The ‘lost boys of Sudan’ face a lot of challenges in their new American life and Paul really struggles with the idea of 9-5 living and, in turn, they really affect Carrie, who makes a huge life change for them. The ending is very emotional and I did have a cry. I left feeling like I needed to spread the word about the resettlement programme and that’s why I want you all to watch A Good Lie.

Released Friday


  1. […] The Good Lie is a beautiful film and tells a very important story. It is released in the U.K. on Friday. Read my review here. […]


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