The John Tyler Community College libraries are home to a fantastic DVD collection. To entice your interest in checking out one of our videos, I will be occasionally highlighting some of our great movies.

In 2003 the government of Kenya announced that it would offer free education to everyone. And everyone means everyone, right? Even if you are 84 years old! But when 84 year-old Maruge (Oliver Litondo) shows up to enroll in the local school he is refused. Maruge desperately wants to learn to read. Moved by his sincerity and passion, a sympathetic teacher, Jane (Naomie Harris), relents and admits him despite overcrowded classrooms containing up to five children per desk.

Maruge, once a fighter in the Mau Mau rebellion against the British in the early 1950s, divides the loyalties of his neighbors. When Jane leaves for another job, Maruge is forced out again only to have his fellow students rally in his defense.

Filmed entirely in Kenya, the scenery is worthy of its National Geographic imprint. Just as the cover states it is both “uplifting” and “irresistible.”

The First Grader 2010 103 minutes Rated PG-13

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