In an arresting identity drama, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuola-Agbaje breaks new grounds with his first film as a director. The film, which details his life from birth to 16, features Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji.
Agbaje’s film captures his life at a time when Nigerian children are commonly fostered to white working class families in the UK, a process known as “ farming”. Thus, Enitan’s family entrust him to the care of Ingrid Carpenter (Kate Beckinsale). He grows up in a loving, boisterous household in Tilbury along with six other children that Ingrid is fostering.
As a schoolboy, Enitan is bullied by skinheads in the vicinity and had to learn to fight for himself. And since he couldn’t beat the gang, his once was to join them. After all, he had tried effortlessly to be white.
Perhaps no one could have played the protagonist better than the talented young actor Damson Idris who brings life to the theme of identity struggle through fear and tears, truancy and fad, soberness and submission.
‘Farming’ is an emotional coming-of-age drama that explains how the absence of love and parenting has sunk a child deep and deeper into confusion, youthful exuberance and crime.
Enitan resists Nigeria because he doesn’t understand the language and is frightened by the local customs. He desires the white, but was treated as a second-class citizen, hence the dilemma. The naive attempt of robbing himself white chalk to look white brought him more ridicule.
Agbaje holds this plot so tightly with racism language, emotions and violence.