Published: May 7th 2012
May 7th 2012
Tonight, I had the privilege of watching a film called, The First Grader
and all I can say is, “Wow”.
Whether you have the chance to see it in a theatre or from the comfort of your couch, I strongly suggest you view it. Without giving too much away, it takes place in Kenya and it is about an 84 year old man who wants to go to school for the first time when the government offers free education to every Kenyan citizen. It is based on a true story.
When I was first offered the film, I thought that it may be too close to home for me, considering where I am living these days, but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The 90 minutes flew by. The story is amazing and the scenery will give you a better idea of the lifestyle of the people in East Africa. There are cities such as Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, but the majority of the countries are rural areas. This film showcases life in the rural communities.
Marunge (Mah-roon-gay) (the old man) plants seeds using a machete to make the rows in his barren garden. His house is made of mud and sticks and he eats rice & beans. The playground at the school has car and truck tires buried halfway vertically so the children will have something to play on. The classroom is overcrowded and in under-supplied. In fact, the classroom in the film looks better than anything I have seen in Tanzania.
Shot on location in a Masai Village in Kenya, the filmmakers did an incredible job to capture the life and times of the rural community. The historical storyline taught me things about the British Colonialization of Kenya. I had no idea.
I know I have recommended a few movies so far, but I truly believe this is the best one I have seen so far, and I wanted to share it with you.