MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 293 this week

The First Grader (2010)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,138 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 13 user | 64 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

The true story of an 84 year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who fights for his right to go to school for the first time to get the education he could never afford.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 29 Aug 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 04 Apr 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 09 Nov 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The First Grader (2010)

The First Grader (2010) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The First Grader.
10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington
Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
The Sea Inside I (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
Milk I (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch
Miss Potter (2006)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

Director: Chris Noonan
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson
The Iron Lady (2011)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant
The Queen (2006)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After the death of Princess Diana, HM Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Behind the Candelabra (TV Movie 2013)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his (much younger) lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Eric Zuckerman
J. Edgar (2011)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts
Kinsey (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tony Kgoroge ...
Charles Obinchu
Alfred Munyua ...
Teacher Alfred
Shoki Mokgapa ...
Teacher Elizabeth
Vusi Kunene ...
Mr. Kipruto (as Vusumuzi Michael Kunene)
Agnes Simaloi ...
Agnes
Kamau Mbaya ...
Kamau Chege
Emily Njoki ...
Young Maruge's Wife
Lwanda Jawar ...
Dan 'Churchill' Ndambuki ...
DJ Masha (as Daniel Ndambuki 'Churchill')
Hannah Wacera ...
Maruge's Daughter
John Kimani ...
Maruge's Baby Son
Macharia Kamau ...
DJ's PA
Abubakar Mwenda ...
Edit

Storyline

Set in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write - and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through - and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past. Written by Unknown

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mau mau | kenyan | education | freedom | class | See more »

Taglines:

It's never too late to dream.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing violent content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 2011 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

The First Grader  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$20,437 (USA) (13 May 2011)

Gross:

$330,533 (USA) (29 July 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Jane Obinchu: Mmzee, they meant for children, not adults.
Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge: No, I heard it on the radio, with my own ears, they said 'everybody'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 20 June 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Courage
Artist: Vieux Farka Touré (as Vieux Farka Toure) Featuring Issa Bamba & Eric Herman
Composer: Eric Herman
Master: Modiba Productions LLC
Publisher: Eric M Herman Publishing
Used by permission.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A fine film, but not a feel-good movie for kids
8 June 2011 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

The First Grader (2010), directed by Justin Chadwick, is a serious and important film that is being advertised as a feel-good movie, suitable for kids. It's an excellent movie, but not for kids. The film is a portrayal of the true story of Kimani N'gan'ga Maruge, an 84-year-old Kenyan man who successfully enrolled in a first grade.

Maruge is a former Mau-Mau revolutionary and prisoner of war. He was horribly tortured by the British army, but his spirit was never broken. When the Kenyan government announces "free education for all," he accepts this literally and tries to enroll in the first grade.

This neglect of former revolutionaries has occurred in many countries, and, at least in the film, Kenya is no exception. As portrayed in the movie, the Kenyan government officials aren't that different from the British colonial officials, except for skin color. They're certainly not enthusiastic about large numbers of adults following Maruge's example and enrolling in school.

The film is overly simplistic at times. The behavior of the dedicated teacher who accepts Maruge in her class is too good to be true, and the other education officials are all "bad-guy" cardboard cutouts. A subplot involving the teacher (Jane Obinchu) and her husband is contrived and leads nowhere.

The torture scenes are horribly graphic and almost certainly realistic. (See the entry about Kenya in Wikipedia for the terrible details.) Those scenes make the movie completely unsuitable for children, in my opinion.

The film is still worth seeing because it is based on a true event. Who cannot be moved by an 84-year-old who is determined to read? In addition, the acting by the two principals, Naomie Harris as the teacher Jane Obinchu, and Oliver Litondo as Kimani Manuge is superb.

Although the film will work better on a large screen, it will definitely be worth seeing on DVD as well. Seek it out--it's worth the effort.


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why didn't he just go to the adult school? thesurf842
Tissues, please.... anubis-45
Oscar chances? bettestreep2004
Name of the Song Near End of the Trailer? action_jackson_0178
Casting caggiegc
BFI London Film Festival: The First Grader Review matthew-groizard
Discuss The First Grader (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?