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The First Grader (2010)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,272 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 14 user | 65 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.

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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 ...
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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.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge: Do you think I'm too old to learn?
Jane Obinchu: My father had a saying. He was not an educated man, he was a fisherman, but he said 'you never stop learning until you have soil in your ears'.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Keep on Waiting
Artist: Kawesa
Composer: Alex Heffes
Master & Publisher: Resonant Music (1) Limited Partners
Administered by Fintage Music Publishing & Collection B.V
Used by permission.
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User Reviews

A touching story
23 October 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

This film is about a 84-year-old man who insists on attending primary school, when the Kenyan government announces that there is free education for all.

"The First Grader" is about an elderly man who wants to be educated. His action provokes debate within the viewer, as we have to decide on how to interpret the Kenyan government's promise, ethical issues, effective allocation of public resources and opportunity costs. This topic is already very interesting and intellectually stimulating. There is also a subplot about the dark colonial history of Kenya, which probably aims to enhance the viewers' connection with the protagonist. However, I find the subplot ineffective without more detailed background history of Kenya, and more development on this subplot. Despite the shortcoming, "The First Grader" is still a touching and inspiring tale.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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