Created on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 20:11
Written by Samantha See
Based on a true story, The First Grader is an inspiring and heartwarming film about a man's pursuit of education despite age and judgment directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl).
In 2003, when the Kenyan government proclaims "Free education for all" over the radio, a long-suffering 84-year-old soldier of the 1953 Mau Mau uprising Maruge (Oliver Litondo) braces himself up for his next challenge – taking up against education.
He shows up at school but gets turned down by Teacher Jane (Naomie Harris), reasonable concerned about a grown man among young ones half his size. However, the strong-willed man buys his own pencil and school uniform, even having it tailored to fit his adult form. This touches the young teacher who eventually lets him in and even fights to keep his place. Against who? Parents and adults, who worry their kids may in turn lose a place, and Maruge's post-traumatic stress syndrome provides good reason for district superintendent to kick him out.
What makes this movie worth a watch would be its great blend of interests: There's meaty history lessons found within via a series of flashbacks; moral food for thought for the thinkers; and on top of the moral lessons, including the lesson to value your education, The First Grader also provides much visual feast with the involvement of National Geographic Entertainment.
What's more, you wouldn't want to miss Harris's performance as a compassionate and soft-hearted teacher in this movie, especially contrasting to her role as a wonky witch in the Pirates of the Caribbean!
You might also like: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
, Bad Teacher