THE FIRST GRADER will captivate and inspire you and make you wonder why this film is flying so far under the radar. It is the story of a former Mau Mau freedom fighter who wants to learn to read. The government has declared that everyone can get a free education. So, Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge decides to take this final opportunity to become a literate member of Kenyan society. I won’t reveal his prime motivation for this quest, but it is the emotional, heart-string tugging high point of the movie. Maruge joins a class of 6th graders and his sympathetic teacher takes him under her wing. Naomie Harris is Oscar-worthy as Mrs. Obinchu. Her superiors, the villagers, politicians and even her husband think it is a ridiculous quest. But she is unwilling to yield and Margue simply won’t let her doubt herself. Oliver Litondo brings a grizzled dignity to the role of Maruge and Justin Chadwick just lets the story unfold for the viewer in a simple yet effective way. Is this the best picture of the year– that’s up to voters. Does it deserve a nomination as one of the year’s ten best? Well, THE FIRST GRADER is first rate. — Alan Yudman

One thought on “THE FIRST GRADER

  1. Alan hits the nail on the head- This film is not only an excellently crafted one, but one, which, in these tough times, inspires! Everything about it is first=rate- script, acting, directing,design, music, etc… 🙂 DESERVES AN OSCAR AND TO BE RECOGNIZED!!!


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