Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary Idris Elba Makes SAG Awards History + Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah Collect Trophies Idris Elba Makes SAG Awards History + Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah Collect Trophies Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 First-Look at David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in Amma Asante's 'A United Kingdom' First-Look at David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in Amma Asante's 'A United Kingdom' Poster: Mike Epps, Paul Mooney, Charlie Murphy Comedy-Thriller 'Meet the Blacks' Poster: Mike Epps, Paul Mooney, Charlie Murphy Comedy-Thriller 'Meet the Blacks' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting

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