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The First Grader (2011) In the Kenyan bush circa 2003, an illiterate 84-year-old Mau Mau freedom fighter (Oliver Litondo) who survived imprisonment during British colonialism joins a classroom of… 2011-05-13 PG-13 PT103M Drama Naomie Harris Oliver Litondo National Geographic
Movie Review

The First Grader (2011)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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Naomie Harris, The First Grader | POWER OF EDUCATION Naomie Harris, Oliver Litondo, and the children in The First Grader
Image credit: Kerry Brown
POWER OF EDUCATION Naomie Harris, Oliver Litondo, and the children in The First Grader
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Limited Release: May 13, 2011; Rated: PG-13; Length: 103 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo; Distributor: National Geographic

In the Kenyan bush circa 2003, an illiterate 84-year-old Mau Mau freedom fighter (Oliver Litondo) who survived imprisonment during British colonialism joins a classroom of 6-year-olds learning to read, guided by a kindly teacher (Naomie Harris from 28 Days Later). The story, based in fact, is told with such undifferentiated, textbook-style admiration for African culture, singing schoolchildren, passionate instructors, and wise elders that The First Grader plays more like a teaching tool than a dynamic drama. C+


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Originally posted May 11, 2011 Published in issue #1155 May 20, 2011 Order article reprints