The Good Lie

Synopsis: Four Sudanese children are orphaned after their village is massacred in the Second Sudanese Civil War. Consequently, they make an arduous and dangerous trek through the plains, enduring hardship, death and sacrifice all the way until they reach safety in a refugee camp in Kenya. Years later, these youths are among 3600 selected for resettlement in America, only to have the one girl among them sent to Boston, while the three boys must to make a new life in Kansas City. Together, these young men must adjust to an alien culture even as the emotional baggage of their past haunts them. However, these newcomers, and their new friends like employment counselor Carrie Davis, strive to understand each other in this new home, as they make peace with their histories in a challenge that will change all their lives.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Philippe Falardeau
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  3 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min

Step up. Please.

Don't forget us in America.

Now we can finally find out

what this means.

This is the story

of my brothers and sisters.

When we were little,

we did not know many things.

We did not know the world was big,

or that it was different from us.

We only knew our villages in Sudan...

which had been there

for thousands of years.

I should say Southern Sudan...

for we were soon to learn

that was an important distinction.

Papa? Papa! Papa!


Our elders told us we would be

safe in Ethiopia, should anything happen.

We had to walk towards the rising sun.

We remembered their teaching

to survive the dangers of nature...

but also to take

advantage of its offering.

- Kwol.

- Mading.

- Majok.

- Agong.






That's yours!

Here you go!

Um... There's no containers left

for you guys to put food in.

So you guys will have to wait.

Yeah. That will work.


Hello. Can I...?

We need to take him to the medical tent

so he can see a doctor.

Uh, the medical tent?


Breathe in.

Breathe out.


She has a respiratory infection.

Very good, Mamere. Moving on.

Doctor Monyang?

Be back.

- Yes?

- I believe she has guinea worm.

We're gonna make you feel better, okay?

Someday when you become a doctor

and someone comes along...

as smart as you,

don't be afraid to listen to them.

I won't.

Paul, where have you been?

Where is your shirt?

I traded it to get these.

It's called barter trade.

Very good.

The food is ready.

- Good?

- It's very good.


The promise of a better life in the camp...

had long come and gone

since our arrival.

Weeks became months,

and months became years.

We found strength in sticking together.

But our hope of ever leaving was fading.

A new list is up.

Come on, come on!

Is there news?

Yes, there is news.

Our names are on that list!

- All of us?

- Yes.

We are going to Kansas City, Missouri!

- Are you sure?

- I am sure.

Really? We are going to America!

Blessing be from God

who has to take us to this Kansas City!

Not me. Not me.

It's all right.

It's all right.

So this is what winter

in America feels like.

This is frozen water. It's called ice.

As all of you know,

there are four seasons in America.

Yes, Jacob?

Where are you going again?

Ooh. Yes. You will have such cold.


What about education? I want to go

to college and then medical school.

I know education is important to all of you,

and we're gonna talk about that tomorrow.

But right now, we gotta focus on work.

You're gonna have just a few months

to find a job.

You're also gonna have to pay back

the government for your plane fare.

- Your date of birth is unknown?

- Yes.

Like a lot of the others,

you will be assigned January 1st.

Why on this date?

There will always be a party.

- Next.

- Thank you.


Goodbye, my brothers.

Welcome to America!

We are so excited to have you with us.

Did you have a good flight?

It was okay.

Uh-huh. And what are your names?

My name is Mamere Deng.

- Okay. Mamere.

- This is Paul.

- Paul.

- Jeremiah.

- Jeremiah.

- My sister, Abital.

Abital. Okay.

No... Abital Deng?

- Abital Deng.

- I'm sorry. She's not on this list.

Please, you must look again, please.

- No, see...

- Abital Deng!

- Abital Deng?

- She's here!

- She's not on my list.

- She's on mine.

Yes, but she belongs

on the Kansas City list.

Right, but not anymore. INS rules are that

females have to be placed with families.

A family in Boston wants to take her.

But this is her family.

You cannot take her from us.

Those are the rules.

I want to speak to another official.

Why can't we put her up in a YWCA

for a few weeks while we find her a family?

All right.

I'm sorry. It's not gonna happen.

Please, there must be something you can do.

Guys, we have to go.

I will find a way for us

to be together again.

- Okay.

- Come.

We'll be together again.

All of you, promise to go to school

and work very hard.

Be strong, my brother.


How could you let that happen?

Whoops. Heh-heh-heh.

We are to look for a man named Mr. Pamela

Lowi from Faith Based Charities...

at baggage claim. He will guide us.

Yes? Hello, this is Carrie.

Pick up who?

I am sorry. That is not my problem.

I'm not the Welcome Wagon.

Can't they take a cab?

Isn't there anybody else that can do this?

Right now?

All right. What airline?

Okay, I'll be there.

- I gotta go.

- God, I feel so cheap.

Hey. I think you're forgetting something.

They're from Africa.

I'm sure they're not gonna care.

- Next week?

- Yeah. Next week.



You must be the guys from, uh...



- I'm sorry. I... Help me out here.

- Sudan.

Sudan! Yes, exactly.

- Hello.

- My name is Mamere Deng.

These are my brothers,

Jeremiah and Paul.

You must be Pamela Lowi

from Faith Based Charities?

No. I'm from the Forrester Employment

Agency. I'm gonna help you find jobs.

I wasn't supposed to meet you

till tomorrow...

but the gal who

from your resettlement agency...

got stuck in a car...


Okay, uh...

Did your luggage come down the chute?


Okay, let's go.

Where is your village?

My village?

Uh, my village is...

Elmwood Street close to the university,

I guess.

May I ask you, let me say,

where is your darling?

- My darling?

- Your husband.

Oh, no, no. I'm not married.

Rate this script:4.6 / 10 votes

Margaret Nagle

Margaret Nagle (born January 12, 1969) is a screenwriter, television producer and human rights activist. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and won three Writers Guild of America Awards. Her first script, HBO's Warm Springs received a record-breaking 16 Emmy nominations and won five Emmys in 2005, including the Emmy Award for Best Television Movie. It also won the 2006 Writers Guild of America Award for Long Form Original Screenplay. Her screenplay for the 2014 film "The Good Lie" received The Paul Selvin Award from the Writer's Guild of America. Nagle also received a 2011 Writer's Guild Award for her work on Boardwalk Empire. She received the 2014 Media Access Award from the Writers Guild of America for "doubling the number" of people on network TV with disabilities. Nagle has been raising money for Humanitarian Aid for South Sudan by appearing at screenings of The Good Lie on behalf of Concern, UNICEF, RefugePoint and other organizations. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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