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Behind The Good Lie

I was crawling through my cable tv when I found this movie The Good Lie. The title itself doesn’t catch me but Reese W’s presence does. It tells about family, specifically, a refugee family from Sudan who fought their way out of civil war before eventually won their ticket to USA. Watching this movie, I wonder how many Sudanese facing same problem.. or worse. As Mamere so insist in giving his own ticket for the sibling they left behind.


Further digging later, I was shock to know that most of the cast -who were Sudanese- does endure more or less same struggle in their life, and that the movie was inspired by true story. Make watching The Good Lie feels like walking in the park compare to reading their heartbreaking life stories. Namely Kuoth Wiel, Emmanuel Jal and Ger Duany among the survivors. In the movie, Emmanuel Jal’s Paul was described as a good boy who fell into drug-trap for his naivety. Emmanuel was nothing like Paul, as he fell and raised himself up and again during many hard-times in his life. He survived Second Sudanese Civil War that killed his mother, reluctantly joined Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA), spent three months on the run when war gotten unbearable, then landed in Kenya for education. All before he barely 12. Shortly after, his struggling-life resume even got longer as his helper slash adopted mother, British aid worker Emma McCune died of road accident. His adopted father then abandoned him to slum life.

Emmanuel Jal
Emmanuel Jal as Paul

Yet there is where he found his ground. He discover hip-hop while living in the slum. Was so enchanted by it for its ability to deliver strong messages as well as move its listener to certain direction. In his case, the direction of peace. So he decided to become a hip-hop musician despite his lack of musical education or knowledge of hip-hop own history. Opening his way with hit album Gua, a mix of languages, narratives and sounds, compelling the word ‘unity’ to form the peace he seeks. He then collaborated with fellow hip-hop musician from exactly opposite side of the civil war. Abd El Gadir Salim went through lengthy endeavour to be where he is, just like Jal, is a muslim hip-hop musician from Sudan. The collaboration between Christian and Muslim, two halves of a divided nation preaches hope to their listeners. The hope to trust each other, to build a co-existence in peace. Jal and The Good Lie taught me peace is expensive, but when the goal is clear and hard-work involved, there is light in the end.


I realise how much struggle it has been for them, for the kids, for everyone, to involve in a war that we can’t ever see its ending. History reveal war based on faith and religion is the longest and the hardest because there is no middle-ground, no common destination, as each religion claim themselves as the rightful one. So peace and live in co-existence is perhaps the best solution. Which we in this country should be grateful for. Imagine with this many diversity if there is no unity, civil wars will occur everywhere. We already had few now, where even slightest act can be serious threat and it’s devastating. Even until this day, the war between religions is still high in the air. Though we didn’t raise our guns, the war is clear in many aspects of our daily life, even clearer in social media universe. Slightest differences mean controversies. People being judge over their beliefs, bullied and humiliated. My thought after watching The Good Lie is how many silent war do we have to fight until we realise what we had is precious. To live our life without bombs falling on our ground, to pass by our neighbor who has different religion without fear they might harass you, to simply have this peace is precious. I wouldn’t wanna trade it with endless civil war just to prove my point: my religion is the one. War and hatred will never be the right way to prove it. Showing we had our head and our heart in their right places are. Just my two cents.

Read: Interview with the cast • The Good Lie FB Page

  1. geLintang
    geLintang November 22, 2016 Reply

    what an inspiring story,, I gotta go to watch this movie

    • rena
      rena November 27, 2016 Reply

      inspiring indeed! masih suka kebayang beratnya hidup di daerah konflik, apalagi di tengah isu demo kemarin… langsung inget film ini.
      Thank you for stopping by yaa :*

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