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The First Grader

The true story of an 84 year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who fights for his right to go to school for the first time to get the education he could never afford.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

Village Voice by

Chadwick veers frequently into flashbacks to Maruge's past as a Mau Mau resistance fighter-mostly prolonged scenes of torture and violence that do little to inform or propel the present-day story. Poorly defined tribal lines flare up, and Jane's life is threatened, the point at which the script's Hollywood contrivances open up and swallow this often charming film whole.
50

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

This ambition - to provoke thought while tugging at heartstrings - makes The First Grader fascinating and frustrating in almost equal measure.
80

Los Angeles Times by Betsy Sharkey

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.
40

Time Out by Eric Hynes

A lot of history gets horned into this undeniably inspirational parable, though slick execution and simplistic storytelling make it a lesson suitable only for easily impressed elementary-school students.
60

New York Daily News by Joe Neumaier

Director Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boleyn Girl") shows admirable restraint bringing this true story to the screen, and Litando does much with glimmers of emotion and wells of dignity.

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2006 Netherlands

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  • ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
  • Netherlands • 2006
  • Creator
  • Cast Bracha van Doesburgh
  • Genre
  • Available on No streaming locations found.

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