Each week FILMCLUB’s experts in film pick a selection of their favourite cinema releases for young kids to teens, under the age of 18.
The First Grader
FILMCLUB recommended age Rating: 11+
Running Time: 103 mins
Year Produced: 2010
Director: Justin Chadwick
Naomi Harris, Tony Kgorge, Oliver Litondo, Nick Reding
In this warm and uplifting true story, an 84-year-old Kenyan man takes his government’s new promise of free education for all literally, by applying to become the world’s oldest ever primary school student.
Naturally, his request causes surprise at the small, remote mountain school he approaches, but Maruge is so desperate to learn to read that he doesn’t care if he’s sitting in a classroom with six year olds! However, while impressed head teacher Jane is happy to have him as one of her pupils, parents and officials insist he’s a waste of a place.
Maruge fights on to prove his worth, building remarkable relationships with his young classmates and confronting his painful past in the process.
Fascinating Fact: The movie’s school children are a real class of pupils who had never seen a camera or a TV, let alone acted before. To make their scenes look natural, the director filmed actress Naomie Harris giving them actual lessons so that they thought she was a genuine teacher.
Related films: A Small Act, The World’s Fastest Indian, Educating Rita, Waiting For Superman, Where The Water Meets The Sky
FILMCLUB is a nationwide education charity and experts in film for young people. The initiative offers access to thousands of popular and classic films from around the world for young people and teachers to watch and discuss in their school film clubs.
Visit www.filmclub.org for more information.