Director : Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Producer(s): Michael London, Janice Williams, François Ivernel and Andrew Levitas
Starring : Damson Idris, Kate Beckinsale, John Dagleish, Jamie Winstone, Genevieve Nnaji and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Genre : Drama
Release Date : October 25 , 2019 (Nigeria)
Awesome-O-Metre : 7.0/10
Revue of FARMING
Farming is the autobiographical directorial debut of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and is about Enitan, a young Nigerian boy, `farmed out’ by his parents to a white British family in the hope of a better future but instead becomes the leader of a white skinhead gang.
Full disclosure: I am very sensitive to films where the subject is racism or genocide especially if they are true stories, which is why I haven’t watched 12 Years A Slave and When They See Us. These films touch a nerve in me that gets me angry and Farming had that exact effect on me. In Nigeria in the early 80s there was so much talk of “tokunbo”, but many Nigerians didn’t know or understand the serious psychological and emotional trauma many of these children farmed to white foster parents went through. Farming has brought this footnote of Nigeria to the headlines.
The first thing that will catch your attention when you see Farming is how genuine and real the film is. The language is so crass and rude that it will make you wince in discomfort and the location heightens your feeling of unease and disquiet. Most importantly, the actors are so real! The genuineness of the film is largely due to the superb performance of all the characters. Damson Idris gave an amazing performance in the lead role as he captures the audience and holds us ransom till the film ends. The younger Enitan is also an amazing character and I have to give it to the acting prowess of the little boy. Our Genevieve gave a sterling performance in the short screen time she had…yes, much better than her performance in Lion Heart. (Yes, I went there).
For a directorial debut by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, I think he did a great job because the film is well paced and the story is properly adapted and connects with the audience. His choice of music and scoring is also very good and appropriate for the film. However, there was a chunk of the film where the story didn’t seem to be developing and the audience started to get impatient. Furthermore, I am worried that Farming will not be accepted by a wide range of audiences (which is required to translate to increased revenues from the film) and this is because the language is R-Rated so kids are already excluded. Furthermore, the subject matter isn’t one that may appeal to many because it is an unusual story and not many will find it entertaining.
Farming comes to cinemas from the 25th of October and I am curious to hear what you think when you get to see it, so let me know in the comment section below or reach me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Break a leg!