Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
A Death Row Records Film Is Being Shopped as a 'Straight Outta Compton' Sequel A Death Row Records Film Is Being Shopped as a 'Straight Outta Compton' Sequel Stefani Saintonge’s ‘SEVENTH GRADE’ Now Streaming on Vimeo – for Free! Stefani Saintonge’s ‘SEVENTH GRADE’ Now Streaming on Vimeo – for Free! Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Opens Today. You Should See It! Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Opens Today. You Should See It! Charles King's Newly-Launched MACRO Announces Initial Partners + Notice of New Projects From Ryan Coogler & Craig Brewer Charles King's Newly-Launched MACRO Announces Initial Partners + Notice of New Projects From Ryan Coogler & Craig Brewer REVOLT TV Announces Partnership w/ Versus Evil to Promote Hip Hop Opera 'Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma' REVOLT TV Announces Partnership w/ Versus Evil to Promote Hip Hop Opera 'Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma' '007' Author Says Idris Elba "Too Street" to Play Bond. But I Doubt the Actor Cares. Bring on the Black Authors! '007' Author Says Idris Elba "Too Street" to Play Bond. But I Doubt the Actor Cares. Bring on the Black Authors! Watch THR's Full, Uncensored Drama Writers Roundtable With Lee Daniels and Others... Watch THR's Full, Uncensored Drama Writers Roundtable With Lee Daniels and Others... BET and TV One Will Go Head-to-Head Tonight With Original Movies Airing at the Exact Same Time BET and TV One Will Go Head-to-Head Tonight With Original Movies Airing at the Exact Same Time Abderrahmane Sissako Talks to Al Jazeera in Comprehensive Interview on Artistic Vision, Religion, Africa's Future & More Abderrahmane Sissako Talks to Al Jazeera in Comprehensive Interview on Artistic Vision, Religion, Africa's Future & More Baratunde Thurston Joins 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Oversee Social and Digital Expansion Baratunde Thurston Joins 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Oversee Social and Digital Expansion Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar Bounce TV's 'In The Cut' Premiere Sets Record for the Young Black Television Network - Watch It Now! Bounce TV's 'In The Cut' Premiere Sets Record for the Young Black Television Network - Watch It Now! 19th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Announces Full 2015 Lineup 19th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Announces Full 2015 Lineup Tupac Shakur Facebook Page Posts Cryptic Message on Upcoming "Special Announcement." Biopic News? Tupac Shakur Facebook Page Posts Cryptic Message on Upcoming "Special Announcement." Biopic News? Mapping Brutality: How Last Year’s 'Belle' Perfectly Explains White America's Response to Racism Mapping Brutality: How Last Year’s 'Belle' Perfectly Explains White America's Response to Racism Documentary 'Welcome to Death Row' Re-Released on VOD Ahead of 'Straight Outta Compton' Premiere Documentary 'Welcome to Death Row' Re-Released on VOD Ahead of 'Straight Outta Compton' Premiere A Black TV Network for "The Rest of Us" A Black TV Network for "The Rest of Us" TV One Expands "Crime & Justice" Lineup with Addition of New Original, 'For My Man' TV One Expands "Crime & Justice" Lineup with Addition of New Original, 'For My Man' Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding We Need To Educate Ourselves On Race vs. Ethnicity (And Other Things I Learned From The Ongoing Zoe Saldana/Nina Simone Conversation) We Need To Educate Ourselves On Race vs. Ethnicity (And Other Things I Learned From The Ongoing Zoe Saldana/Nina Simone Conversation)

From The Executive Producer of 'The Blind Side' Comes 'The Good Lie' (Trailer)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 20, 2014 at 10:46AM

Remember author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Ted Talk titled "The Danger of a Single Story" which we've shared on this blog many times.
4
The Good Lie

About a minute and 20 seconds into the trailer, a text lay-over tells us that the project comes from "The Executive Producer of 'The Blind Side.'" 

"Of course, it is," was my immediate reaction as I grumbled in solo protest at what was in front of me. 

Quite frankly, while I'm certainly pleased that these 3 young men will get to star in what appears to be a rather high profile Hollywood project, and that the 3 real-life young men whose story inspired the film, will get to see their lives reinterpreted on the big screen, I'm just no longer interested in this particular kind of story, which we've seen in a variety of movie incarnations over the years. And in Hollywood's hands, who knows how they'll play it. Whose story will be central to the narrative? Through whose eyes will the story unfold? The character played by Reese Witherspoon, or the 3 young South Sudanese men? Existing marketing materials suggest the former. Will it be loaded with the usual stereotypes? Will the South Sudanese characters be 3 dimensional? Will they have control over their own lives? 

Hollywood seems to revel in stories like this that present limited and overwrought depictions of Africans, especially when there's an opportunity to insert a white protagonist, if there isn't already one in the original "based on" narrative. If Reese Witherspoon's character was a black American woman, would "The Executive Producer of 'The Blind Side'" be interested in seeing it adapted for the screen?

When will that story be made into a film by Hollywood producers?

The so-called "lost boys of Sudan" have been the subject of a handful of documentaries over the last decade, since the signing of a peace treaty that was to end what was the 2nd Sudanese civil war, in 2005. I'd suggest you take a look at those films first, before watching this one - that is, if you plan to. "Lost Boys of Sudan," and "God Grew Tired of Us," are two of the more popular titles.  

I won't be surprised if Witherspoon is nominated for (and even wins) an Academy Award for her performance in this film.

Refugees of the Second Sudanese Civil War will be front and center in this new feature film project that stars Witherspoon, which is inspired by true events, and is titled "The Good Lie." Witherspoon plays a brash American woman assigned to help 3 young Sudanese men, who are struggling to adjust to new lives in the USA.

Playing the 3 refugees are Ugandan-born actor Arnold Oceng ("My Brother The Devil"), South Sudanese actor, model and social activist, Ger Duany (himself once a child soldier), and Emmanuel Jal, a South Sudanese musician and former child soldier as well.

Again, I can't make an argument for why this film shouldn't exist (and I'm not suggesting that it shouldn't) - after all, it's based on real-life stories. But I can encourage Hollywood to embrace other stories about Africans (whether in Africa or in America - and there is an abundance of stories) beyond those tiny few extremes (war, poverty, famine, disease, corruption, or as simpletons) that sadly reflect views that are likely held by much of America. 

Let's recall author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Ted Talk titled "The Danger of a Single Story," which we've shared on this blog many times.

"The Good Lie" is directed by Philippe Falardeau ("Monsieur Lazhar") from a script by Margaret Nagle, and will be produced by Black Label Media, along with Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Karen Kehela Sherwood.

Alcon Entertainment will release the film via Warner Bros.

The trailer for "The Good Lie" follows below (from "The Executive Producer of "The Blind Side"):

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Ger Duany


Shadow & ActNewsletter