The First Grader

The First Grader

The First Grader

The true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan villager and civil war veteran who fights for his right to go to school, and get the education he could never afford. From the director of The Other Boleyn Girl.

"Set in Kenya in 2003... the story of Maruge, an 84-year-old village elder who uses a government initiative to introduce free primary schooling. A former Mau Mau fighter, Maruge’s desire to learn to read and write has been sparked by the arrival of an important letter from the government. However, when he presents himself at the local school gates, he finds head teacher Jane alone in being sympathetic to his cause: her colleagues are unenthusiastic and her superiors appalled." (London International Film Festival).

The film is shot on location at the stunning Kenyan Rift Valley and involves Kenyan kids with no acting backgrounds.

Winner of Best Film at the Palm Beach International Film Festival 2011.
2010Rating: M, contains violence & offensive languageUK
DramaTrue Story & Biography

The First Grader / Reviews

Variety

Variety

The uplifting true story of world's oldest primary school student, The First Grader reels you in with its human-interest hook, but packs an even more vital agenda: enlisting Kenyan locals to share little-known details of their nation's independence.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

This is wholesome and uplifting in the classic carpe diem manner.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

It's a complex scenario, but this movie winds up telling a straightforward, and slightly sucrose, heartwarming tale.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Anchored by a lovely performance from Oliver Litondo as Maruge and an exuberant Naomie Harris as Jane Obinchu, the school principal who champions his cause, the result is a tearful, joyful, imperfect, yet nearly irresistible ode to the human spirit.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Strikes a perfect balance between humor and tragic gravity.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

An amazing tru-life story that's Hollywoodised within an inch of its life. A missed opportunity for something really special.

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A.V. Club

A.V. Club

The First Grader offers a tumultuous but uplifting journey.

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