This film really spoke to the educator within. Based on a true story: 84-year old Kimani Maruge, who gave up his life fighting for his country’s independence, finds himself being denied the right to quality education. The battles he fights are not only with the administration, but also within himself. The teacher who supported him, Jane Obinchu, is also an inspiration.
This passionately-written post by the actress who played Jane tells of some parts of the filming process and follow-ups. It’s really touching to know that the crew left the community with more improvements than when they first arrived for filming.
“Learn until soil gets into your ears.”
– Kimani Maruge
Caught this film at the recent Israel Film Festival – decided to give myself a break given that I’ve missed so many movies I would have liked to catch this year! A film about a young boy’s talent for words and poetry, and his kindergarten teacher’s growing obsessiveness with nurturing him and his talent. That his home environment was not supportive seemed to spur her determination on to bring him to greater heights. Some lines are blurred as the audience wonders whether she is truly doing it for him or to feed her own ego and sense of achievement.
To digress – I couldn’t help but think that that’s how teaching today has come to be. I recall hearing ex-colleagues say: “I did this with the class, as a result they are…”. “So-and-so from my class got this and that achievement. I remember telling him…” Once, I thought a colleague seemed on the verge of expressing pride at herself when her student did well in his CCA, when he wasn’t even in her CCA! I know it’s good for teachers to be proud of their students and the work they do, but pride that comes from “Its my effort – they wouldn’t have achieved so much without me“- is simply egoism, don’t you think?
I know, because I’ve felt that way. And it’s a continuous battle to keep that pesky ego in check.
Anyway, back to the film- I found the ending slightly disturbing, even though I had inklings about where she was headed from some scenes in the middle. I think I sensed some transferencial relationships
going on as well. Psychologically thought-provoking. I loved the play with words and poetry throughout as well. We can only wonder how much of the passages’ lyrical beauty was lost in translation.