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The First Grader (2010)

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

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17 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Oliver Litondo ...
Tony Kgoroge ...
Charles Obinchu
Alfred Munyua ...
Teacher Alfred
...
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 ...
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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

Taglines:

It's never too late to dream.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 2011 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Az iskolakezdő  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Kgoroge is a frequent collaborator with director Justin Chadwick, having also appeared in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), another film Chadwick directed. See more »

Quotes

Jane Obinchu: [addressing her 200 students on her last day] My mother never went to school, and she said to me, 'You must love education, so that you can do better than me'. I am your mother and I am telling you, you must love education, so that you can do better than me, better than all of the teachers.
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Crazy Credits

During the initial credits, there is 1. a photo of the real Maruge with some students. 2. a scene with the DJ mentioning Maruge's trip to the UN, and predicting that a Kenyan will ascend to the White House. 3. more scenes of the children at the school See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Zingu 7
Artist: Zola
Composer: Zola (as Bonginkosi Dlamini)/Kabelo Ikaneng
Master: Courtesy of Ghetto Ruff International
Publisher: Ghetto Ruff Publishing Limited & Guluva Entertainment
Sub-publisher: Fintage Music Publishing & Collection B.V.
Used by permission.
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User Reviews

1st class.
11 July 2011 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Glorious acting by the leads, a charming yet affecting screenplay, taut direction and above all stunning cinematography - all making for a gem of a film.

Due the nature of the story (daww, an 84 year-old guy in Kenya learning his ABCs with all the little kids...) some scenes skim dangerously close to being too cute and sentimental but thankfully the harrowing background to the story and gutwrenching depiction of conflicts in the past, along with the personal tragedy at the heart of the story make this such a moving film. Both Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo deliver phenomenal performances, the latter in particular I think deserves Oscar consideration.


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