The First Grader – **

Posted: November 29, 2012 in 2010, Drama, Political, UK, USA, XX

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790663/

After the Kenyan government announces that education will be free for everyone, an 84-year-old man shows up at the elementary school. The head teacher first sends him home, but when he keeps on returning, she lets him sit in front of the class amongst all the little kids!

Okay, that sounds like a pretty lame story for a feature movie, but it’s based on true events AND the producers decided to add several extra elements to the story. There are flash backs from the time that the man was a freedom fighter in the fifties, when he was tortured by the British, saw his family murdered and got imprisoned in camps. There are several comments about certain issues that still trouble Kenya today (disrespect for women who take their own decisions, tribal disputes in a country that was forced to feel ‘Kenyan’, political corruption, etc…) And I did find it excellent that the makers allow the viewer to form their own opinion about the dis/advantage and  the controversy this case has caused, by showing scenes that make you understand why some people would NOT want this man in an elementary school.

It’s all very light and pleasant though (apart from one violent flashback that doesn’t make it a family movie), but that allows the movie to be seen by as many people as possible. And the acting is great!

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