The Good Lie (2014) Script

(PROPELLERS WHIRRING)

MAN 1: Step up. Please.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

MAN 2: Don't forget us in America.

Now we can finally find out what this means.

JEREMIAH: 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.

(COWS MOOING AND MAN CLICKING TONGUE)

(WOMAN SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(SINGING CONTINUES)

(ALL CHATTERING)

(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(CHILDREN SHOUTING)

ALL:

ABITAL:

MAMERE:

(ALL CHATTERING)

(MAMERE SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(HELICOPTER WHIRRING IN DISTANCE)

(ALL SHOUTING)

(HELICOPTER APPROACHING)

(ALL SHOUTING)

(EXPLOSION)

(ALL SCREAMING)

(GUNFIRE)

(ALL SHOUTING)

(GUNFIRE AND CHILDREN YELLING)

(ALL YELLING)

(GOAT BLEATING)

(GUNFIRE CONTINUES)

Papa? Papa! Papa!

(GUNFIRE NEARBY)

(GUNFIRE NEARBY)

THEO:

(MEN CHATTERING NEARBY)

Mama?

(SCREAMING)

(MUFFLED SCREAMING)

(SOBBING SOFTLY)

(WHIMPERING)

ABITAL:

(SOLDIERS CHATTERING)


JEREMIAH: 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.

(ALL YELLING)

(CHEETAH GROWLING)

(SNARLING)

(ALL CHEERING)

(SNIFFS)


(INSECTS BUZZING)


(URINATING)


THEO: MAMERE:

THEO: Kwol. MAMERE: Mading.

THEO: Majok. MAMERE: Agong.


(ALL CHATTERING)


(IN ENGLISH)

(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(IN ENGLISH)


(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)


(SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(ALL SINGING ALONG)

(INSECTS BUZZING)

(ALL CHATTERING)


MAMERE: Theo!


(WHISPERING INDISTINCTLY)

(GUNFIRE AND SCREAMING IN DISTANCE)

(GUNFIRE IN DISTANCE)

(GUNFIRE AND SCREAMING IN DISTANCE)

(GUNFIRE AND SCREAMING CONTINUE)

(ALL SCREAMING)

MAMERE: Gabriel!

(SCREAMS)

(GUNFIRE)


THEO:

(INSECTS BUZZING)

MAN:


MAN:

MAMERE: Theo!

Theo!


(RUMBLING IN DISTANCE)


(SIGHS)

(MEN SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

Shh.

(MEN CONTINUE SHOUTING)

THEO (WHISPERS):

(MAN SPEAKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(MAN SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)


PAUL:

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(PANTING)


(CHATTERING)

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.

(MEN SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

ABITAL:

Hi.

Hello. Can I...?

We need to take him to the medical tent so he can see a doctor.

Uh, the medical tent?

JEREMIAH (IN ENGLISH):


Amen.

(ALL CHATTERING)

MAMERE: Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Excellent.

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.

(ALL CHATTERING)

(PAUL SPEAKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

Paul, where have you been? Where is your shirt?

I traded it to get these.

It's called barter trade.

Very good.

ABITAL: The food is ready.

Good? It's very good.

James.

(SPEAKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

JEREMIAH: 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!


(ALL CHATTERING)

Is there news?

Yes, there is news.

Our names are on that list!

All of us? MAMERE: Yes.

We are going to Kansas City, Missouri!

(ALL LAUGHING)

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!

(LAUGHING)

Not me. Not me.

It's all right.

It's all right.

(LAUGHING)

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?

(IN ENGLISH)

MAN: Where are you going again?

Ooh. Yes. You will have such cold.

Mamere?

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.

WOMAN: Your date of birth is unknown? Yes.

Like a lot of the others, you will be assigned January 1 st.

Why on this date?

There will always be a party.

Next. Thank you.


(INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE)

Relax.

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?

MAMERE: Abital Deng. I'm sorry. She's not on this list.

Please, you must look again, please.

No, see... MAN: Abital Deng!

Abital Deng? WOMAN: 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.

MAN: 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.

MAMERE: 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. JEREMIAH: Come.

We'll be together again.

All of you, promise to go to school and work very hard.

Be strong, my brother.

PAUL: Abital!

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.

(RINGING)

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?

(SIGHS)

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.


CARRIE: Hi!

Hey.

You must be the guys from, uh...

Somalia?

Senegal...?

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... Anyway...

Okay, uh...

Did your luggage come down the chute?

Great.

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.

If you do not have a husband, then it is your children who provide for you?

No. I don't have any children. I'm not married.

I provide for myself.

Your survival skills are very impressive.

Thanks. JEREMIAH: Mm...

(SPEAKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

My brother's going to be sick. Uh-oh. Oh, no.

(JEREMIAH RETCHING)

CARRIE: There's no way I can do that by Friday.

No. I'm just not a miracle worker, Tom.

I'll call him when I get back in the office.

She's talking alone. CARRIE: I gotta go.

He all right? He has a weak stomach.

Excuse me. What is that?

That's McDonald's.

It's a place to eat.

When was the last time you guys ate anything?

(ANNOUNCER ON RADIO SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)


(BURPS)

CARRIE: Okay. Here it is.

I'll call you tomorrow.

Are you guys just gonna stand there?

CARRIE: Hello? PAMELA: Yeah!

CARRIE: Hi. Hello! Hello! You got here.

Thank heavens. So sorry about the mix-up.

Well, I'm Pamela Lowi, your volunteer with Faith Based Charities, your resettlement agency.

I'm gonna take it from here, but thank you so, so much.

No problem. I'll see you later. PAMELA: All right.

Excuse me? CARRIE: Yeah.

You make our hearts throb for your many kind assists today.

Would you be so kind to tell us your name? Oh, sorry. Didn't I?

My name's Carrie Davis.

I'll call you tomorrow morning and we'll start the job hunt.

May you find a husband to fill your empty house.

I'll work on that.

We have a lot to cover. This is your fridge.

You got your cabinets up here, your stove top.

And I made you this.

Okey-doke. Follow me.

This is your bedroom.

Cozy, huh? These bunk beds were just donated to my church... so I snagged them for you. They should do the trick.

See this?

If you flip it up, the light comes on.

Isn't that great? There's one of these in every room.

Pamela, we have a sister, and she has been separated from us.

Yes, right, your sister.

I'm so sorry. No family here wanted her.

Switching the paperwork is near impossible, but I'm sure she's with good people.

Now, this is called a living room.

And this light, you've gotta turn on and off with this turny kind of thing.

See? What I meant to say was...

...she needs to be here with us. Yes, we want her here.

It wouldn't be proper.

Besides, where would you put her in this tiny place?

Is there someone of authority on these matters I can speak with?

There's just no getting around it. Sorry.

Let's go to the bathroom next.

This is your only bathroom. I did go ahead and get you some bathmats...

(CHUCKLING)


It's very comfortable, no?

(PAUL & JEREMIAH SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)


(SINGING CONTINUES)


(PHONE RINGING)

(RINGING CONTINUES)

It must be an alarm.

Maybe.

(RINGING CONTINUES)

(PHONE RINGING)

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Mamere! Jeremiah! Open the door!

You are here.

Why didn't you answer the phone? I've been calling you.

For job hunt? We waited by the window, but we did not hear your call.

No, I called you on this. This is a telephone.

Do you know what a telephone is?

Okay. We already missed the 10:00 interview... let's head straight to the restaurant.

(SIGHS)

Carrie!

Roger, hey. How are you?

You never called me.

I'm sorry. I've been so busy with work.

Um... Guys, this is Roger. He works with the local police force.

We appreciate any person who risks their life to uphold the law.

May God bless you and keep you safe from harm.

I'll call you. Come on, guys!

Nice to meet you.

Hey. CARRIE: Hey, Matt.

What's up? I know you have some openings in food prep... and it just so happens that these guys have a lot of experience.

Okay. I'll talk to them.

Thank you.

MATT: Hey.

So... what brings you to the United States?

My parents were killed in the civil war in Sudan, and my sisters were taken as slaves.

Do you have any restaurant experience?

I would like to study to become a doctor.

That's good.

Are we going to eat now?

Sure.

MATT: You really want me to hire these guys, Carrie?

They have no experience. They're too strange.

If you can't take all of them, just take one of them.

We don't have any space right now. Check back in six months.

Maybe something will open up. You're giving me that speech?

No... I know that speech.

You're blowing me off. I'm not!

You're seriously trying to tell me that these rocket scientists...

...are more qualified than those guys? Yes!

CARRIE: You're out of your mind. I don't think we'll get a job here.

Carrie, I'm sorry...

CARRIE: We're leaving. Get in the car.

We get job here?

No, we're going to see Jack Forrester.

He owns the employment agency where I work.

I'll be right back.

(CAR DOOR CLOSES)

Hey, Jack. JACK: Hi.

(SIGHS)

What's going on?

Welcome to the longest day of my life.

I need your help.

You need my help? With work.

Something happen in the office or something? Not exactly.

I have these guys from Africa, and I can't even get them through one job interview.

So you brought them here? Where else was I supposed to bring them?

You know how you make people smile.

That's it. Potential employers want to see you smile.

You can stop now.

To smile without meaning it, is that not insincere?

Oh, yeah. It's total bullshit. But Americans like it... and that's where you live now, so it's what you've gotta do.

Now, are any of you good with your hands?

Great, I'll make some calls. Now, listen, this is important.

Since you have little or no experience, you have to impress... upon any potential employer how good you'd be at any given job.

But that would be a lie.

As long as you can back it up with hard work, it's not lying.

I think Donner has some openings for assembly line workers.

What about Nick at Star Grocery? These two could stock shelves.

That's a good idea. I'll call Frank, you call Nick.

Done. All right. Thanks, guys.

(COWS MOOING)

You have a very beautiful village.

Thank you. It was my father's. Your father was a chief?

I guess some people would have called him that.

My father was a chief too.

May we visit with your cow?

Be my guest. Are there any dangerous animals...

...of which we should be warned? Such as?

Lions.

(LAUGHS)

No. There's no lions here. You're safe.

Thank you.

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

Man, I wish they wouldn't do that.

What's their story anyway?

I'm not sure. They seem pretty traumatized.

When I dropped them off the other night I said goodbye... they looked at me like they were never gonna see me again.

You can't get involved in their problems. We'll just end up in a lawsuit or something.

Yeah.

Not much has changed around here.

I've been meaning to paint the porch.

I should probably get them back. It's getting late.

Yeah, sure. Thanks.

WOMAN: This probably seems overwhelming at first... but I promise you in no time you'll get the hang of it.

You'll kind of have to in this section because people can never find their cereal... even when it's right in front of them.

So memorize the names and where all the different boxes go.

And some of these brands have up to 12 different flavors.

It's a lot, but you'll get it. Do you guys have any questions?

You don't say a whole lot. Okay. You're shy. That's cool.

Follow me this way. Where are you guys from anyway?

Sudan. WOMAN: Hmm.

So this is the dog food section, and you have to restock it... all the time, and the bags can be really heavy.

Food for dogs?

Mike? Jerry?

Mike! Jerry!

Grab these couple of carts. Push them out back with me.

Roll them down right here.

Okay.

This is where you throw the old food so you can restock the shelves with the new food.

Old food?

When the food expires, it's not safe to eat.

Plus it's a big headache with the health department. Believe me, it's better this way.

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

I don't sell the food inside the store to give it away outside. I'm a businessman.

Anyway, it's none of your concern.

Now today we're working on a hand shower with multiple spray settings.

Just got a big order from a hotel chain.

All right, training table's this way. Let's get you a little practice.

This is the faucet assembly. Look at all the different parts, okay?

Go ahead. Hold it in your hand, familiarize yourself with everything.

Every part here is made and assembled in the U.S. Something we're very proud of.

Holy cow.

It work like this?

Yeah. You bet.

(CHUCKLES)

Let us pray.

Dear God, let us give thanks to this miracle food, pizza... but most important, look out after our sister, Abital... so that she's safe in this Boston, where her brothers are not there to protect her.

PAUL & MAMERE: Amen. Amen.

(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING IN DISTANCE)

(CHUCKLES)

I heard something at work today. It's called a joke.

Tell us.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other side!

(ALL LAUGHING)

Cheerios.

Honey Nut Cheerios. Multi-grain Cheerios.

Banana Nut Cheerios.

We are forgetting one. Frozen Cheerios.

Not frozen, frosted.

(LAUGHING)

What is so funny? I'm thinking about that chicken.

(ALL LAUGHING)

(WATER SPLASHING)


Carrie?

(OBJECTS CLATTERING)

(CAN RATTLING)

(SCREAMS THEN GASPS)

Holy crap!

Are you crazy? There is a reason you do not have a husband.

What the hell are you doing? You can't just break into somebody's house!

I didn't. The door was unlocked.

How'd you even know where I live?

I used my map.

I am here to thank you. Because of you, my brothers and I have jobs.

Okay. Thank you so much. That's really nice of you.

But that's my job. So once I get you a job, my job is done.

Okay? If you want to bring me oranges, just call me on the telephone. Okay?

Okay. Sorry, Carrie. Thank you.

(DOOR CLOSES)

(SCANNER BEEPING)

(COIN JINGLES)


(MICROWAVE BEEPING)


(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

Now, hold onto these receipts for your plane fare and your records for at least one year.

You guys are lucky.

Since 9/11, the program that brought you here is stopped indefinitely.

What about everyone waiting in the refugee camp?

For now they're stuck there. You're fortunate you made it.

We have a sister who's been sent to Boston, and she needs to be here with us.

Right now the system is overloaded.

I'd wait a few months until things have cooled down.

Thank you. WOMAN: You're welcome.

Abital, I am now teaching Sunday school at our church.

ABITAL: That's excellent. Just like at camp.

Abital? Yes, Paul?

You know, Mamere is going to go to school. Great news!

Only one of us can go at a time. It is very expensive.

I have two jobs now to help pay for it.

Be patient, Paul.

I'm sorry. I have to go now. My family is waiting for me.

Okay. Bye. Bye.

(LINE DISCONNECTS)

(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS)

(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS)


DAVE: Hey, Paul?

What's up, man? Um...

Listen, you're always out of synch.

Out of synch? Right. We're a unit, you know... so when you're on the line, you just gotta take it easy.

Take it easy?

(COUGHING)

(ALL LAUGHING)


JENNY (ON PA): Jerry, we need you in produce, please.

Hey, you! Don't go in there.

I'm sorry.

What I have in here is much fresher.

Thank you.

What the hell are you doing?

It is a sin not to give to those in need.

According to who?

Jeremiah.

And who's that?

Me.

My name is Jeremiah.

CARRIE: Jeremiah? Come to my office.

JEREMIAH: I miss Sudan.

Why?

Because in Sudan we know what a lion looks like.

Okay. Look, Nick Costas just called me, and he's really upset.

So why don't you tell me what happened? I'm sorry if I bring you dishonor.

But I cannot do a job I believe in my heart is wrong.

You don't bring me dishonor personally... but this company did vouch for you, and it is a big deal.

Let me explain something to you. In America, we have this thing called bosses.

Sometimes they're just assholes. And they have too much power for their tiny brains.

And they get angry when you don't follow their orders. But you have to put up with it... because you need money to live and to eat and to go to school.

So I'm gonna try and get you more job interviews. It's not gonna be easy.

I have faith, Yardit.

Yardit? This is our special name for you.

For me? Yes. It has great cultural significance.

What does it mean? It means great white cow.

Okay.

(CHUCKLES)

Well, it's better than a lot of things I've been called.

JACK: Hey, you're, uh...? Jeremiah.

Jeremiah. Right. Where you going?

To my home.

Come on, I'll give you a ride.

You are Carrie's boss. Heh. Nobody's Carrie's boss.

Oh, this is a very fine car.

Thank you.

May I ask, what credential is required to drive a car?

You need a driver's license. You practice, and then you pass a test.

(TIRES SQUEALING)

JACK: Oh, slow down! Slow down! Left, left, okay, now just stop... Whoa!

Hold on, put on the brakes! Brakes! Brakes!

You okay? JEREMIAH: Oh...

JACK: I think you should just stick to walking.

Having all read Huckleberry Finn, can anyone tell me what "the good lie" means?

Huck uses lies to survive in undesirable situations.

Exactly. But later in the book, the lies change. How so?

They change because Huck changes.

Yes. Keep going.

When he tells the slave hunters that he has no slaves, his lie is credible.

So he lies well. But what is more important... is that it is an unselfish lie, because it saves Jim.

Jim's freedom means more to Huck than the money he would get for turning him in.

So it is a good lie.

Could not have said it better.

Let us turn to chapter 19, page 108.

"Here is the way we put in the time.

It was a monstrous big river down there, sometimes a mile and a half wide."


(DOOR OPENS)

Where have you been?

What is wrong with your eyes?

Nothing.

You could have an infection.

Let me look. Let me see.

Stop pretending you're something you're not, Mamere.

You're not a doctor.

You're not Theo.

We are in America now, and in America we are nothing.

That is not true.

You think you're so smart that we want all you want.

We don't. I don't.

Then what do you want? I don't want this!

I don't want to work so I can be, what...?

Be alone? Be nobody?

Paul!

(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

Paul!

Paul.

(SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)


I'm sorry, dude. I gotta ask.

What happened? PAUL: This?

A lion.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

I'm serious, a lion. Okay. Yeah, it was a lion. From Africa.

Come on.

The smell of this lion was very sweet like rain.

That was a surprise to me.

He put his mouth onto the leg of my brother.

I tried to pull the lion off... but it clawed me.

Whoa, man. You're serious.

Lions do not leave the bones of their meals the way vultures does.

They take it with them...

to their family... and share them.

Sometime I wonder... where is that lion who ate my brother?

Would I know him if I saw him?

Would he know me?

(KICKING)


(TIRES SCREECH THEN HORN HONKS)

He didn't punch out?

Wait, you're saying he's done this before?

Okay, no. I'm sorry.

Thank you for your understanding. Yeah, I'm gonna get right into it.

Okay. I'll call you back. Bye.

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Mamere?

Paul?

Jeremiah?

(JEREMIAH SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(CONTINUES SINGING)

Hey.

You did not call first.

Ha-ha-ha. Busted. Welcome.

What are you guys doing out here? It's freezing.

We miss seeing the stars.

I'm looking for Paul. Have you seen him?

May we invite you in for some tea?

You know how to play dominoes?

Uh, no.

I teach you.

Okay.

MAMERE: Paul comes home very late or not at all.

Spends many days and nights away from us.

Doing what?

I don't know.

Did something happen?

Lately Paul has not been Paul.

He's your younger brother, right? We do not share the same mother or father.

Oh, I didn't know. There is only me and my sister, Abital.

Oh. Is that the girl on the fridge?

Yes. Where is she?

INS sent her to Boston.

Because there is not one family that wanted her here in Kansas City.

Why?

It's difficult for us to talk about.

Because there was nothing I could do.

MAN (ON PHONE): Operator. How can I help you?

Hello, I need to speak to Abital Deng right away.

What city? The city of Boston, please.

Can you spell the name?

D-E-N-G.

You must find her, please.

Calm down, sir. I need an address.

Please! You must help me! I need to speak to Abital Deng!

Hello?

(LINE DISCONNECTS)

(POLICE SIREN WHOOPS)

Hey! Hey! What do you think you're doing?

What do you have to say?

Nothing. Nothing?

You bring shame upon us and you say nothing?

You have been given a chance at life that was taken from your brothers in Africa.

And this is what you do with it? How could you forget?

No, it is you who forget. Who gave you life, Mamere? Do you remember? I do.

Do not tell me what I remember.

PAUL: I remember everything! Everything!

You did not deserve to come here! Your brothers died so you could leave!

No, Theo died so you could leave. Theo didn't want us to stop.

He knew it was unsafe. But you made him. You put us in danger.

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

You should have stood up on that grass that day, not Theo. I saw everything!

Guys. You gotta... This has nothing to do with you.

This is not your war. I'm still your chief.

You're not my chief. I know. We all know. You killed Theo.

You are not my chief! You have never been my chief!

CARRIE: Oh, my God! Get off of him!

JEREMIAH: Carrie! Let them be!

You guys, stop! Let them be!

CARRIE: Stop it!

Get him off of him!

JEREMIAH: Paul, come on! CARRIE: Paul!

You are not my chief! You are not my chief!

Mamere, are you okay?

(GRUNTS)

Don't look at me.


JACK: Who's there?

Hello?

My God, you're half frozen.

I want to see my cows.

I cannot make it stop, Jack.

What can't you make stop? I can't make it stop.

Sit down.

It's my fault. It's all my fault.

What's your fault?

I let my brother be taken away by soldiers instead of me.

They took him away thinking he was me.

Theo told these soldiers he was all alone.

To protect us. To protect me.

It should have been me. I know this. You don't know that, Mamere.

Look at me.

I was in the Army. I have been to war.

But most of us were just average guys... being faced with unimaginable things... being asked to make choices no one should have to make.

Your brother made a choice that night that was only his to make.

It wasn't your choice.

You didn't have that power. You never did.

I still hear the sounds of guns and the crying of children.

The cries...

There were so many, Jack.


I want you to be my brother, not my chief.

No more.

(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(COWS MOOING)

(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

(SIGHS)

You don't have an appointment.

Yeah. I know. I just stood in line for two hours for you to tell me that?

We have an opening in three months.

Oh, no, I'm not leaving here until I see a supervisor.

If you'll step to the side and wait until I help everyone in line here...

I'm not stepping to the side and I'm not waiting any more.

Now, who do I have to screw around here to see a goddamn immigration supervisor?

Uh... Me.

Great.

Thanks, cupcake.

REED: Name? CARRIE: Abital Deng. D-E-N-G.

Age? She's probably 21.

Probably? Where is she from?

Sudan.

That's gonna be a problem. Sudan has sponsored terrorist activity.

We're not gonna be able to move her across state lines so easily.

We're talking about a kid here. She's a child refugee of war.

I know. It's absurd.

But she's caught in a bureaucratic crossfire, and it's gonna take a while.

What can I do to make it move faster?

You could hire a good immigration lawyer.

But if you're telling me the reason they were separated... is because there was no host family here for her, then you're going to have to find one.

Otherwise, there's no chance.

(KNOCK ON DOOR)

Hey. Hey.

Thanks for coming over on such short notice. Yeah, sure.

I know you're busy on Sundays with church and everything... so thanks for coming.

Uh-huh. I need your help.

Yeah. You do.

CARRIE: I'm just wondering what you think of this room.

Whether I could turn it into a bedroom... maybe fix it up, get rid of some of this stuff.

I'm wondering if you think it'd be good enough... for the INS to approve me hosting a refugee?

Or if your agency would even back me up on that?

If you can get the whole house presentable, and not just this room, yeah.

I think you can get approval. What's wrong with the rest of the house?

Really?

All right. So where do we begin?

Why don't you make us some coffee?

I have tequila. Praise the Lord.

Great.

CARRIE: Wow, this is amazing. PAMELA: This looks really clean.

CARRIE: We did it!

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Mm.

So how many kids do you have anyway?

Ugh. Too many. Ha-ha-ha!

Um... I don't know what I was thinking to be honest.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Hey.

You sure you're ready to take this on?

Yeah. Definitely.

Okay, just one more.

(LAUGHING)

(CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS)

These Christmas decorations are very elaborate, yes?

I go all out for Christmas.

I make my own baby Jesuses out of papier-mâché.

But Santa Claus doesn't come to Sudan.

Well, he's coming here.

So, what time should we be expecting him?

Ha-ha-ha. Very late at night. And only if you're good.

He sounds like a burglar to me.

(ALL LAUGH)

Mamere, I left some groceries on the porch. Can you help me?

Yes. Thanks.

MAMERE: Abital!

(ALL LAUGHING AND SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

I like this Christmas!

(ALL LAUGHING)

CARRIE: You okay?

You're doing really good!

(INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE)

(LAUGHING)

(ALL LAUGHING)

You look like an old bison!

(LAUGHING)

(WHOOPING AND LAUGHING)

(ALL CHATTERING)

ALL (SINGING): Happy birthday to you Happy birthday, dear lost boys

(ALL CHEERING)

My brothers. It is wonderful to see you all here as we celebrate the day of our birth.

We may not know the exact day we were born, but we know about the day.

Our mothers told us.

Our mothers were very tall, liked to tell us stories.

We remember her words, even if we do not remember the sound of her voice.

She told us to remember who we are... and all who came before us.

Thank you.

(ALL WHOOPING)

Abital!

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(DRUMS PLAYING)

(ALL SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)


(BOTH LAUGH)

Mm. This reminds me of when I was a little girl.

My sister and I used to sneak downstairs when our parents were asleep... and we'd steal all the ice cream and eat all of it.

Is she like you, your sister?

No.

She was nice.

My mom used to say that I was born pissed off and Kelly was born chipper.

"Chipper"?

Happy. She was always happy.

I used to tease her. I used to call her Chipper.

She hated it.

Where is she?

Oh, she got cancer two years ago, and, uh... it just ripped through her like a firestorm.

And then, ahem, one day she was just gone.

And you wonder why it was her and not you?


What? My brother is doing laundry?

You are good to marry. Ha-ha-ha!

I got a letter from Kenya yesterday, and I'm not sure what to believe.

What?

A man came into the camp a month ago looking for us.

It is possible he might have taken our names off the list of people... who have immigrated in order to pretend he's someone we know.

It is not possible.

But what if it is?

What if it's really him and he's alive?

Theo.

I don't understand. He's a refugee of war. He needs asylum.

All flights from the Kakuma Refugee Camp have been stopped since 9/11.

They have thousands there waiting for the same opportunity.

But he has his family here. Faith Based Charities is ready to step in.

I'll sponsor him. I'll pay for his ticket. He can live with me.

We could get him a work visa. He knows cattle.

You know, this might not even be your brother, Mamere.

There have been people who faked their identities to get out of situations like this.

Which is why I need to go and see for myself.

Cat, could you give us a second, please?

Thank you.

(DOOR OPENS)

(DOOR CLOSES)

You could try some embassy shopping.

Explain that. REED: Okay.

You go to Nairobi, you get into every embassy you can and ask for asylum.

You tell them your brother's story. And you see if you can get a country... in good standing with the U.S. to write him a visa. Okay?

So he has to go halfway around the world to do this?

Yes.

And it will all hinge on hitting the right embassy on the right day.

Providing that happens, then we can work on transferring... the paperwork through diplomatic channels.


(IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

Plane food sucks.

Thank you, Yardit.

Call me if you need anything, okay?


Excuse me. I am looking for my brother.

He may have arrived here a month ago from Northern Sudan.

Where did you hear that?

A letter to my sister from somebody here in the camp.

What is his name?

Theo Deng.

Deng. Yes.

(PAPER RUSTLING)

Thank you.

(DRAWER OPENS)

(DRAWER CLOSES)

I'm sorry. There is no one registered here under that name.

So what do I do?

You can search the camp. Talk to everyone. But be careful what you say.

How many are here now?

Almost one hundred thousand, give or take a few.

Okay. Thank you. Hmm.

Mamere? Mamere! Mamere Deng!

James!

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Look at you! You are fat! Heh-heh!

How are you? Oh. So-so.

It is good you left here. This is a darkness place.

I'm so sorry. It's okay.

I am looking for my brother, Theo. Have you seen him?

What does he look like? I am not sure. Maybe like me.

Okay. I will let everyone know. Come on. Come on.

(LAUGHS)

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(ALL CHATTERING)

(MAN COUGHING)


MAN (IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE):

MAMERE: MAN:

MAMERE:

Mamere? Theo!

(BOTH LAUGHING)

The others?

Daniel is with God. But the rest of us, we all made it.

My God!

My God!

(THEO SOBBING)

I hear something.

A long time ago, I was very sick.

Rheumatic fever. It has hurt your heart.

No more. My heart is healed.

Remove your shirt.


Thank you.

I am going to Nairobi to get papers for you.

It may take several days.

Don't worry. I'll be back.

GUARD: Go.

Next.

WOMAN: I wish I could help you.

Honestly, the world is a very confused place right now.

Indeed it is. No embassy would help me.

I know. I'm sorry.

Good luck.

Hey, Theo.

Is it done?

Yes. It is done.


James.

(ENGINE STARTS)

Bye. Bye.

JAMES: Goodbye, my brothers!

Goodbye, my brothers.


Theo.

When you get on the plane, a helpful person will take you to your seat.

You will show me these things.

Theo.

From this moment on... it is very important that you only answer to the name Mamere.

What are you saying?

I could not get you any papers.

No, Mamere. I cannot. Yes, but you must.

But it is a lie. Yes, I know. But it is a good lie.

But you...? I will go to Kakuma. I can work at the hospital.

Theo, you gave me life.

That day in the elephant grass, you gave us all life.

I give it back to you.

You are chief now.

Now, go. Go. Go.

(INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE)

(AIRPLANE DEPARTING)

PRIEST: Today we have a very special guest speaker.

Many of you already know him.

I'd like to welcome Jeremiah.

(CROWD APPLAUDING)

(CLEARS THROAT)

This is the story of my brothers and sisters.

When we were children, our fathers said, "Let something of me survive."

We did not even know what does it mean.

But then we saw our family murdered... and our villages destroyed, and then we understood.

We held inside ourselves the memories of our forefathers and their teachings... so that we could move forward in the world.

Like an invisible bridge their memory connects our old life with our new.

(INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE)

JEREMIAH: They say we were saved by coming to the United States.

But we also saved each other.

And although our differences may divide us... our common humanity unites us.

For we are brothers and sisters, all of us.

We try to share this wonderful world we call home.

(LAUGHING AND CHATTERING)

JEREMIAH: They call us the Lost Boys of Sudan.

I don't think we are lost.

I think we are found.

(INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE)


(English - US - SDH)