At Dongara Uniting Church, we premiered the film The Good Lie five times from Thursday 21–Sunday 24 May. Posters and flyers prepared by Heritage Films had been distributed round town and put into the hands of as many individuals as possible, including the local school. Church members were encouraged to bring friends and neighbours personally and altogether 36 people from the Dongara-Port Denison community enjoyed the show.
The whole story is haunting and illuminating; in light of current issues relating to refugees and boat people no country wants to accept. It is the story of children, who survived a massacre of almost everyone in their village – their parents, siblings, and other close relatives – trekking some 785 miles first to Ethiopia then to Kenya, to find a safe place. Their journey was filled with dangers – from the dry and wild countryside, to soldiers roaming the bush with automatic weapons at the ready.
It is a beautifully produced film, with Ron Howard as Director, with great colour, graphic settings and real-life encounters which enable viewers to identify closely with the characters and events. While we had hoped for greater numbers of people coming to view this film, it was great to hear the audience laughing with the story at particular times and shedding tears when reconciliation and redemption takes place – so we know the audience engagement was deep. In comments afterwards there was acknowledgement of how uninformed we are about the particular situations refugees have fled, and how it can never be assumed that the scars and traumas are ironed out or worked through by resettlement in a ‘nice’ place.
As part of this premiere presentation, we had some snack foods available with the usual ‘cuppa’ that is included in the admission price of $5.00. These foods were vegetarian recipes from regions of northern Africa such as cornmeal balls, bean fritters, and a bean stew. The recipes came from the book, The World in Your Kitchen, by Troth Wells, distributed through The New Internationalist magazine network.
It was great to promote this film, and be among the first in WA to view it.
To view a trailer of this film visit http://www.thegoodliemovie.com/.