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

Director:

Justin Chadwick

Writer:

Ann Peacock
18 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

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

Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge: I will continue learning, I want to become a vet.
Jane Obinchu: [laughing] A vet? Maruge, you'll be almost 100 years old.
Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge: I will never stop learning until I have soil in my ears.
See more »

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 Maltin on Movies: The Hangover: Part II (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.
See more »

User Reviews

 
An Important Film on Many Levels
18 November 2011 | by roguegrafixSee all my reviews

This is a very good movie which operates at various levels. Ostensibly about an 84 year-old man going to primary school for the first time, it also covers (in graphic detail) a dark period in Kenya's and Britain's past: The Mau Mau Rebellion.

The issues raised are complex: the right for an old man to an education even if it excludes another child in a country of stretched educational resources; the fight for freedom and the integrity of an oath; and the battle against officialdom are but a few. Above all, it's a struggle against adversity on a variety of levels, both past and present.

The Mau Mau Rebellion is often overlooked in histories outside Kenya and this is well portrayed in the film. At times it is frightening and certainly very threatening and the director contrasts the flashbacks of the past with those of the present.

The acting, cinematography, editing are excellent. As is the beautiful yet unobtrusive soundtrack. And even though it becomes a tad clichéd, it is still an impressive and inspiring story. I was very moved by it—not least the dignity of the old man given all the injustices he suffered. Certainly worth a watch and better than a lot of movies I have seen this year.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA | Kenya | France

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

24 June 2011 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The First Grader See more »

Filming Locations:

Kenya

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,437, 15 May 2011

Gross USA:

$332,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,237,457
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed