One of my goals as a parent is to raise global children. So far, we have had only one opportunity to take our kids outside of the United States. Visiting Canada was fun, but we would like them to see and hear and taste cultures and languages and foods that are vastly different from North America.
In lieu of taking them ourselves, we’ve chosen to expose them to the world out there through stories, television, and movies. Two of our favorite shows to watch as a family are Survivor (where contestants compete in remote areas or islands in other countries) and The Amazing Race. One of my friends recommended The Amazing Race because of how well the show covers the cultures and customs of the countries each team visits during the course of the race. It isn’t touristy at all.
Last Friday for our family movie night, we watched a movie just released on Blu-ray and DVD December 23. The Good Lie is directed by Ron Howard and tells the survival story of a group of children orphaned during one of the many civil conflicts in Sudan in the 80s.
It’s breathtaking and heartbreaking. It really brings to life the way we never know what battles others are fighting. These children watched their parents die at the hands of soldiers, walked hundreds of miles to find safety, and lost siblings and friends on that long journey. Finally, they received asylum in the United States.
Their transition to life in Kansas City shows just how clueless we are here in the Global North about how people live in other parts of the world. We take so much for granted. Our ignorance and lack of appreciation often comes across as rude, thoughtless, inhospitable, and callous.
Watching this movie was very moving for me personally. But watching it with my kids and seeing them grapple with the themes was even better. Even my youngest, who usually loses interest in movies after awhile, was thoroughly engaged and connected with the story and the people. We’ve talked about it since that night, we found Sudan and Ethiopia and Kenya on our world map and tried to wrap our minds around walking nearly 1000 miles without shoes.
I highly recommend the movie for many reasons. It’s very well-made, it’s based on a true story, the actors who play the Sudanese children are from Sudan, and it’s a very important insight into our own culture as well as that of others. I think we could use a little opening of our eyes and exposure to the experiences of others around the world.
I have a copy of the movie on DVD and Blu-ray that I get to give away to one of you! Please leave a comment sharing what you are doing to understand the world outside our nation’s borders and/or to help your kids or others you influence to do the same. I will select a commenter at random at 10pm eastern time on Friday as my winner, and I’ll email you to find out where to send your prize. Or, if you don’t want to wait, order your copy here.
Wishing you and yours true peace on earth this Christmas Eve.