The First Grader
Directed by Justin Chadwick | UK | 2010
After the Kenyan government announces a new public school initiative, one surprising student insists on enrolling. Kimani Maruge, a poverty-stricken 84-year-old farmer, stubbornly demands his right to learn to read and write, even if he has to sit next to six-year-olds. Carrying the scars of the fight against British colonial rule, both externally (he was tortured during years of imprisonment) and in his hear t (he survived the murder of his family), Maruge is determined to participate in a new society. Director Justin Chadwick (BLEAK HOUSE) and writer Ann Peacock turn this inspiring true story into an elegant, economical exploration of a new Africa coping with sins of the past. Naomie Harris (28 DAYS LATER, TRISTRAM SHANDY) is excellent as the idealistic teacher who risks her career, and Oliver Litondo brings an intense Faulknerian dignity to our determined hero. This is Justin Chadwick’s second feature film. - L.G. Telluride Film Festival
33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara, 805-963-0761
- Friday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.
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- Saturday, Jan. 29, 4:40 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 30, 8:10 a.m.
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