Farming – the title refers to the practice in the 60’s and 70’s of Nigerian parents ‘farming’ there children out to white working-class families whilst they got their education – is a film about racism and acceptance in 1960’s England.
Damson Idris takes on the role of Enitan, who was farmed out as a baby who turned into a peculiar child, often lost in his imaginary world. His foster mum, Ingrid (Kate Beckinsale) struggled to connect with him, and he struggled to find his place in England. However, once his parents were ready to return to Nigeria, with Enitan, things got worse as Enitan had zero connection with the Nigerian way of life and after a while of not fitting in, his parents sent him back to live with Ingrid.
Enitan’s sense of abandonment festered into self-hatred which cumulates into a kind of hero-worship for a local skinhead gang who surprisingly takes him in as a sort of pet/attack dog. The problem being that Enitan sees this as acceptance whereby the skinheads see him as nothing more than a dog, a disposable pet.
No matter how loyal Enitan is, it’s plain to see that this relationship is a festering wound of a train wreck just waiting to happen.
Farming is a bloody tough film to watch. It’s based on the true story of Enitan’s own experiences of being farmed. It’s brutal and dark, with no Hollywood candy coating added to give the film some lift. It’s bleaker than the Joker as you KNOW it’s real and not a dark take on an entertaining character.
A hard film to watch for sure, but one that is worth the effort.
Rating: R16 Restricted to persons 16 years and over. NOTE: Violence, cruelty, sexual violence, offensive language & suicide.