Jane (Naomie Harris) at her desk with Agnes (Agnes Simaloi)

Jane (Naomie Harris) at her desk with Agnes (Agnes Simaloi)

First Grader ends Friends of Cinema season

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To finish off another successful season of film presentations, Friends of the Cinema will present The First Grader on May 16.

The First Grader has been very successful at film festivals and we think it will be a great movie to complete our season with,” spokesperson Jean Mutch said on Monday.

The true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan who takes up his government’s offer of free education for all has been described as both heartbreaking and uplifting. Kimani Maruge was a veteran of the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s and was living out his life until he heard a radio notice of the government’s offer. An 84-year-old is not what the government, nor the overcrowded local school, had in mind, however.

Can Maruge survive the hostility from his classmates’ parents? Can he overcome the media attention to make his dream of learning to read and write?

Director Justin Chadwick uses flashbacks to connect Maruge’s — and Kenya’s — past with the present. In doing so he weaves a story, simply told, into a tapestry that gives viewers a glimpse into the life of an old man in a changing world.

The First Grader is the last of eight movies in the Friends of the Cinema season. Season passes for the 2011-2012 season are now available at Black Bear Books. Friends of the Cinema is a non-profit group that donates net proceeds to community organizations including Friends of the Library and Prince Charles Theatre.

“Once again, we would like to thank Tivoli Theatre owner Bonnie Geddes for her support and co-operation,” Mutch said. “We would also like to thank our many patrons who appreciate the opportunity to see movies that wouldn’t be brought to Creston otherwise.”

The First Grader will be presented on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Tivoli Theatre.