For the second time this year, adult students of the English language program participated in a special Cine Night at the HAU Theater, where the film First Grader (2010), by Justin Chadwick and Ann Peacock was screened. The film tells the story of Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an 84-year-old villager and former freedom fighter, who is illiterate and wants to learn to read and write, even if this means attending a first grade class with six-year-old pupils.
The school Principal Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris) supports his struggle and together they face the intense opposition of parents and officials. The actors excelled with their performances, but it is no exaggeration to say that the real stars were the young children playing in the film. These were children living in distant Kenyan regions who had never seen a movie before. However, they earned the love of the audience with their childlike enthusiasm.
The film was presented by the well-known director, actor and author, Mr. Thodoris Atheridis, and Ms. Salome Pneumatikou, Marketing & Communication Director of Action Aid. Mr. Thodoris Atheridis, kicked off the event referring to personal experiences and speaking about the importance of education, and the opportunities currently available to young people to develop their knowledge and skills. Ms. Salome Pneumatikou followed, and discussed Action Aid's work on education in Africa.
The film was moving and left the audience with excellent impressions about both its quality and optimism. It proved that the pen is indeed power, and expresses the mind that yearns to learn.