Last Sunday, 19th of October, some special select guests including my humble self were privy to attend the private screening/premiere of Farming in Lagos. I have to give you a bit of background information of how the day went.
The invitation said 6pm, and as a true British brought up guy, I was at Filmhouse, the venue at 6:10pm, thinking it will be a simple and quick screening, however on getting there, I saw that there was a massive black carpet rolled out with a huge backdrop for photos and the lot that come with it, another thing, in true Naija fashion there was African time related to the start. After pacing round the venue, I later settled for sitting in the lounge upstairs to indulge is a bottle of beer while watching strings of celebrities and other guests come in and do their thing on the glamorous black carpet. After waiting for about an hour and a half, I got restless and made my way to the signature lounge, chit chatted with a few people, drank a cocktail and posed for some photos, then at about 8:15PM the man of the hour Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje arrived with cameras all around him, not long after he did, a lady walked up to me asking that I vacate my seating area for him. Of course I was a bit irritated, I had waited for about two hours only to be told I couldn’t seat down anymore? Oh well….
I wasn’t in the mood for socialising anymore after this, I brushed passed Agbaje with all the cameras around him and headed for the cinema hall where the screening was to take place. Everyone was sat down at 8:20pm, then the introductions started, Agbaje gave a brief speech and we settled in to watch the movie but not until after another 30minutes of adverts and movie previews… arrrghhhhh…. The good thing though was that we had sodas and popcorns to keep our mouth entertained.
With that preamble out of the way, let me settle in to the main reason of writing this- the review of the movie…)
Agbaje made is directorial debut in this movie based on a true story of the life of the British-Nigerian actor. Damson Idris a British actor (Enitan) took on the very daunting task of playing teenage Agbaje, perhaps you have seen him in American crime TV Series “Snowfall” or action thriller film “The Commuter” alongside Liam Neeson? Have you? Well Idris is outstanding in Farming.
Farming is truly captivating movie, full of the right prescribed twist and unpredictable turns. It gives us an insight in the journey many migrants from the commonwealth countries took to the United Kingdom. Many of whom, will relate to this cinematic experience, others may reflect to the past experiences they had or what their loved ones when through.
Records show a direct link that not all migrants survived the farming experiments. The movie set in Essex, England, where Agbaje’s parents, who were left with no other option than to leave their offsprings with an adopted white family, sending funds to the for the upkeep of their loved ones in their care, while his parents focused on their own survival in British society, filled of austerity. His ruthless childhood, which lacked most importantly the essential ingredients of empathy, inclusion and zero tolerance was evident during his adolescent years.
It’s a film that will forever live in the memories of those who watch this toe-curling masterpiece. Co-starring the delightful, Genevieve Nnaji, who plays a sublime role, as Enitan (Agbaje’s) biological mother Abaje (played his biological father)- they both appeared in about four short scenes, Kate Beckinsale (his foster mother) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (his teacher) in its ensemble.
One thing I am absolutely not sure about is if an average Nigerian will find it entertaining, I think “Oyibo people” will love it more. I don’t want to divulge too much and make it a spoiler, however, I it will be worth your money at the cinema, it starts showing on the 25th of October 2019.
For a quick glimpse, watch the trailer below:
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