Refugees of the Second Sudanese Civil War will be front and center in a new feature film project that will star Reese Witherspoon.
Inspired by true events, and titled The Good Lie, according to the press release, the story will follow…
… a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States with three other lost boys. Encountering the modern world for the first time, they develop an unlikely friendship with a brash American woman assigned to help them, but the young men struggle to adjust to this new life and feelings of guilt about the brother left behind.
Witherspoon will play the brash American woman.
Playing the 3 refugees will be Ugandan-born actor Arnold Oceng (My Brother The Devil), South Sudanese actor, model and social activist, Ger Duany’s (himself once a child soldier), and Emmanuel Jal, a South Sudanese musician and former child soldier as well.
The Good Lie will be 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.
Shooting begins next week in Atlanta before heading to Africa (although no word on what country exactly – whether on location, or in a country that will be used as a stand-in).
Alcon Entertainment will release the film via Warner Bros.
While I’m certainly pleased that these 3 young men will get to star in what appears to be a high profile Hollywood project, I’m frankly just not interested in this particular 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, or through whose eyes will the story unfold? The character played by Reese Witherspoon, or the 3 young South Sudanese men?