Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Good Lie --a film about refugees from Sudan

This is a great film directed by Philippe Falardeau. This film is based on the fact that in 2000, thousands of Lost Boys and Girls were transported to the United States and the story is told through the story of a few of them. These children were orphans from the brutal civil war in Sudan which started in 1983. The screenplaywas written by Margaret Nagle. It stars real Sudanese refugees: Ger Duany as Jeremiah, Emmanuel Jal as Paul and Kuoth Wiel as Abital. Both Ger and Emmanuel were also boy soldiers. Emmanual is a musician and some of his music is on the soundtrack.
Parts of the film were filmed in United States, Canada, South Africa and Kenya.

Mamere is played by Arnold Oceng, the son of a Sudanese refugee father.
Three young men from Sudan named Jeremiah, Paul and Mamere are among those who get to the United States. The young men end up in Kansas City, Missouri while Mamere's sister Abital ends up in Boston.

Viewers of this film see how the children suffered the tragedy of war and the loss of their families and villages. Then there was the long trek to find safety which led them to Kenya and a refugee camp there.

The three young men and young woman lived at the refugee camp until they were fortunate enough to be transported to the United States.

Unfortunately, one of the results of 9/11 is that many remained were forced to remain stuck in refugee camps like the one in the film near Kukuma , Kenya.

Reese Witherspon plays Carrie, the woman who helps the young men find jobs.

The title of this film is taken from Mamere's class lesson in which the teacher discusses with the class Huck Finn's good lie to save his slave friend Jim.  It inspires Mamere's own "good lie."

Some quotes from this film:

"Now we can finally find out what this means."---Abital

"I have courage but all your have is strength."---Theo

"Our elders told us we would be safe in Ethiopia, should anything happen."---Jeremiah

"I want to live. I do not want to die."--children repeated this before drinking urine

"So this is what winter in America feels like.this is frozen water. It's called ice."---American man after handing out blocks of ice

"Be strong, my brother."---Abital to Mamere

"They're from Africa. I'm sure they're not gonna care."---Carrie

"If you do not have a husband, then it is your children who provide for you?"---Mamere to Carrie

"You make our hearts throb for your many kind assists today."---Mamera to Carrie

"Isn't there someone who might want or need this food?"---Jeremiah

"Jim's freedom means more to Huck than the money he might get for giving him up."---Mamere

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".---African Proverb

Some scenes from this film:

Here's the official trailer:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Words and Pictures -- a contest between language art and visual art

English actor Clive Owen & and French actress Juliette Binoche team up together to portray two teachers at a high school.  Jack Marcus is the teacher of Honors English while Dina Delsanto is the newly hired teacher of Art Honors. Both are struggling with their own creative projects while also teaching and encouraging their students to be more creative. Jack struggles with alcohol while Dina struggles with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) which makes it difficult to paint and do many other activities.

This film was directed by Australian director Fred Schepisi and the screenplay was written by Gerald Di Pego.

What starts out as a friendly rivalry between two teachers turns into a romance and a creative contest between words and pictures at the school. This is a really great film about the language and visual arts. I found it interesting, touching and amusing.

Here are some quotes from this film:

 "What you just gave me was oatmeal when you could have given me a New York steak."---Jack

"The dictionary says "art is human creative skill."---Dina

"I think a picture is a lot more powerful than words."---student

 "A picture is worth a thousand words."---Dina

"Words are your Gods and somebody is insulting your religion."---Jack

A picture is worth a thousand lies.---sign of Miss Delsanto's Arts Honors Class

"So you missed me but you greet me so antienthusiastically."---Dina

Scenes from this film:

Here's the trailer for this film: