This week we are to watch a movie from the perspective of MKMMA. I chose, A Good Lie.
This is a powerful movie no matter how you look at it.
Let me start by telling you this is a tough story to watch. To be honest, I went ahead watching only because I knew it had a good ending. As good as you can reasonably expect after the trauma of a very gruesome war on a child. Watching anything war related hits me at a level that generally makes me physically ill. I have a difficult time finding any sort of “entertainment” in the viewing of war movies. But I had seen all the other options, save one… that’s next on my list.
The movie opens with a horrific attack on a small village in Sudan. The only survivors are children. Some who even “played dead” to avoid being shot. The opening scene is absolute terror. Your heart bleeds for what they are about to endure. As if losing everyone they ever knew and loved wasn’t bad enough, they are to embark on a frightening, extremely long trek among dangerous wild animals, inadequate food and water, in a land saturated with soldiers that will kill them on the spot, or take them if they are old enough to be a “soldier”.
So lets check off the necessary components to success… A DMP backed by a burning desire… A plan of action, and a mastermind Group!
Destination: Safety… Backed by the very basic yet deeply ingrained human desire of self preservation. I’ve heard many stories about people who are placed in dire circumstances and it is most simply their desire to stay alive that brings them through events seemingly impossible. Most certainly you would not set 5 or so children out in the middle of the wild in Africa and hope they make it over 1000 miles to safety.
These children know they must get out of the area and to safety. They remember the stories they were told… Follow the rising sun. They literally employ simple science and embrace the “compass” within the stories they were told in order to determine the best direction to walk. They follow the rising sun.
They walk with determination, and they do what they can to meet their needs along the way. I was struck by the scene that makes any person’s stomach churn when they finish burying one of the smaller children who could not endure the environment; they have no water, and they drink their own urine. Announcing one by one, “I do not want to die, I want to live”. You start to gather they don’t want to just survive… they seek a full life, and they are planning for it. AND, they will do whatever it takes.
Soon enough they come up on a group who is RETURNING From the direction they intend to go. They are informed the soldiers have taken over. They can no longer go this way.
It’s also worthy of note they carry a bible with them. They lean on the stories of the bible throughout their walk. This bible is carried through their escape. Its pages are worn, and have seen all they went through. I mention this because it appears to lend to their master mind. Their master mind group at first is just the group of them. They are organized, and supportive. When they run into the larger group they seem to increase their mastermind group. They’ve already been working well together, and supporting each other, but they’ve added a group with a common goal. I imagine a bit of the stress is diminished… comfort in numbers… However, it turns out they are safe only for a short period of time.
The movie will highlight yet another heart wrenching situation when they finally reach clean flowing water. An amazing event in and of itself, and the large group decides to walk along the water. You couldn’t paint a more perfect “river of dreams”. It is the oldest child who realizes they are in danger. Their goal of a life is threatened by following the crowd. They are easy targets, as the need for water draws them in. It is the oldest who insists his small group deviate, and cross the river and leave the pack. He quickly sets up a plan to get them across, and sadly another of his group is quickly lost to murder, as the larger group is, in fact walking into an ambush. They escape through a scene that no child should ever witness… bodies, young and old, floating down the river. When a river, or water is normally the picture of life, it is now a stream of blood and death.
At this juncture I’m shouting at the screen at the bastards that are stealing their lives, their innocence, and their childhood. Things we all take for granted. Tears. How do they do this?
Finally, the children see a city. They make their way to a refugee camp that has food, water and medicine. Their numbers have dwindled. The losses heartbreaking. It is bizarrely anticlimactic. I think because when they walk in, they walk into a group of people who have all been through the same thing. Finally, food, water… safety. Absolute exhaustion. Much rest is needed.
Believe it or not, this is simply the opening of the movie, the first 30 minutes or so. I’m not inclined to break down the rest of the movie. It’s nothing anywhere near as harsh as they have already endured, but they run into obstacle after obstacle to forge forward with a life they want to live. They have developed new goals! And they have developed the fortitude to reach those goals. Each Child, and then adult has figured it out under the harshest of conditions. There is simply nothing going to stop them. Obstacles are presented at every turn. They choose to see the silver linings, and they figure out how to stay on their paths. They enlist the aid of others. They pray. They work hard. They do whatever it takes. And well, one of them might have told a lie 😉 But I don’t want to ruin it for you!
Finally, this movie adds an insane layer of perspective to our own lives. Giving one much to think about when perhaps thrown an obstacle that feels overwhelming. Is it really? Our realities are our own, I will never diminish that… But wow… Food for thought!
Trailer: The Good Lie…