7.5/10
3,980
19 user 65 critic

The First Grader (2010)

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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 »

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Photos

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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 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
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Kenya

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 2011 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Az iskolakezdő See more »

Filming Locations:

Kenya

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,437, 15 May 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$330,533, 31 July 2011
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 »
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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

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 »

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.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An inspiring and sensitive retelling of events
2 May 2012 | by AnnotherSee all my reviews

This is a very moving account of actual events that took place 2003-2005, with a little poetic license in the retelling. The principle actors are brilliant, but some of the other characters are a little overdrawn. However, I think this kind of caricature may be derived from Kenyan culture.

I thoroughly enjoyed the character development as well as the pacing of the story. It is also set in dramatic Kenyan landscapes which are enthralling. Having visited Kenya briefly in 2006, this brought back a lot of good memories of the country and the people. The smiles of the children you see amid the poverty is exactly how I remember it.

As others have said, it isn't a movie for children, but should be on the "to watch" list for adolescents and adults.


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