The First Grader (2011)
Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 71
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 29
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 2,216
In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long
May 13, 2011 Limited
Dec 27, 2011
National Geographic Entertainment - Official Site
Kimani N'gan'ga Maru...
Young Maruge's Wife
Maruge's Baby Son
Shadrack Murimi Gach...
Peter Emera Pious
Kurenda ole Kureya
Maasai Store Owner
Mau Mau Oath Giver
Mau Mau Leader
Mau Mau Warriors
Plantation Owner's W...
Kamau Wa Ndung'u
Vusumuzi Michael Kun...
Adult School Teacher
Mr. Mutahi's Aide
Jacquie (P.A. to the...
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It's funny how 'real life' sometimes conforms so closely to hackneyed patterns of screenwriting.
The First Grader is every bit as inspiring and heart-warming as you'd expect.
The filmmaking is ... uneven, filled with charming picture-postcard scenes of smiling children and African sunshine that seem crafted for a different film than one with moments of horrific flashbacks.
The story is uplifting in a predictably pro-education, antiwar, feel-good way, warmth and humor balancing the heavy moments.
An earnest "true story" that hits many of the expected importance-of- education grace notes, but never quite achieves a lump-in-your-throat reaction
The First Grader is a self-congratulatory and subtlety-free slog that makes saints of its protagonists, devils out of its antagonists and narcoleptics out of its audience.
With the melodrama cranked up as high as it is, it's hard to believe this was a true story.
An uplifting, romanticised and gently-paced film infused with the dry beauty of the Kenyan landscape and powered by the moist-eyed performance of Oliver Litondo in the title role
Based on real events, The First Grader is a unique blend of uplifting self determination and harrowing conflict
Learning never ends is the message of this inspiring true story set in Kenya in which an 84 year old villager joins local primary students in a bid to learn how to read. It's a great story
Director Justin Chadwick's film is sort of corny, not surprisingly, but it is inspiring and full of real feeling at times.
Wholesome and uplifting in the classic carpe diem manner and Harris is a lot more attractive than Robin Williams.
Seems to go on for ever and manipulates its audience in the most na´ve of ways.
While too many young people take education for granted in this country, The First Grader illustrates the need for older folks to be educated, too.
Ann Peacock's didactic screenplay may be based on a true story, but it's hopelessly unconvincing in the way it manufactures and resolves conflicts.
The screenplay sticks to a tried and trusted formula which tends to lessen the emotional impact of an amazing true story.
The subject matter is thought-provoking and inspiring and the performances from young and old alike are A-grade.
Audience Reviews for The First Grader
- Kimani N'gan'ga Maruge: Learn till the soil gets in your ears.
- Kimani N'gan'ga Maruge: We have to learn from our past because we must not forget, and because we must be better.
- Jane Obinchu: Class we have a new student today!
- Jane Obinchu: Why does someone as old as you want to go to school?
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