亞迪威・亞金路維 - 亞格貝 Adewale AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE
英國 UK | 2018 | DCP | Colour | 107min
2019-09-01 (日) 10:30 Ambassador國賓影城 1廳
2019-08-29 (四) 17:10 SBC星橋國際影城 17廳
1970、80 年代，數萬名奈及利亞小孩被送到英國白人家庭寄養，他們的父母認為，此舉可讓小孩擁有更美好的未來。導演兼編劇本人，小時候就是這樣被送出寄養的小孩之一，片裡主角以其成長經歷為藍本。故事圍繞種族議題，有著《叢林熱》的身分政治關懷，一如《美國 X 檔案》對白人光頭黨提出批判，亦有《以父之名》的勵志感人。本片獨到之處，更在於創作者講述其成長過程所親身經歷的種種兇險，進而帶出一種黑格爾式的主奴辯證視角。
Based on his own life story, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming charts the extraordinary journey of a young fostered Nigerian boy who, struggling to find an identity, falls in with a skinhead gang in 1980’s England. Told with brutal honesty, Farming is an unflinching autobiographical portrait of a young man who must battle the odds and realize that his toughest battle will be learning to love himself.
亞迪威・亞金路維 - 亞格貝，1967 年出生於英國，父母是來自奈及利亞的留學生。出生 6 週後，被送到白人藍領家庭寄養。成長過程跌跌撞撞，一度加入極右白人光頭黨，亦曾自殺未遂。後改過自新，攻讀法律學位，被相中成為模特兒、演員。本片為其首部執導長片。
Adewale AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE is an award winning, Nigerian British-born actor, writer, director and producer, with a career spanning more than two decades, appearing in over 50 films. His credits include his groundbreaking role as Simon Adebisi in Oz (1997-2003) and as Mr. Eko in the acclaimed series Lost (2004-2010).
2018 多倫多影展 Toronto IFF
2019 愛丁堡影展最佳英國劇情片 Best British Feature Film, Edinburgh IFF
In 1967, when I was six weeks old, my Nigerian parents left me in the care of an impoverished gypsy family in the south east of England in the slum docking town of Tilbury in Essex. My Nigerian father was studying law less than an hour away, but I wasn’t to see my parents again until I was eight-years-old. It was important for me to share my experience as a black child growing up in Britain through this extraordinary phenomenon known as ‘farming’- the practice that Nigerian Immigrants would carry out in order to survive and build their lives, by having their newly-borns fostered out to white working- class families. We were in effect the first black British generation of immigrant children to be born on British soil.
FARMING the movie began with me not being able to sleep at night. I would write ten to twenty pages per night in order to sleep. In a couple weeks, I had a five-hundred-page manuscript that I wanted to adapt into a screenplay. I believe that I am alive today to not only tell my story, but that of a generation of children that experienced this phenomenon.
On a personal level it was so important to not only flesh my feelings in regard to my past, but also put them to rest. While I’ve had a tremendous amount of success in my career and life in general, there was always something that still plagued me, until I addressed it. It was my past, and the impact that it had on my life.
There’s an image of Great Britain that the world is familiar with – whether it’s the monarchy, James Bond or the Beatles – but there is an absolute neglect of understanding what actually makes Britain great. The experiences of the black and immigrant or migrant population are a very real part of what Britain is today. I felt that, on a personal level, I needed my own experiences to be seen and heard and this would illuminate the mass experience of what a lot of black immigrants had gone through.
The story touches on so many relevant and contemporary issues. Growing up as a black person in the 1970s and 80s Britain, was at times extremely hard, brutal and racist. England in the 70s was a rough and rapidly changing landscape, where anti-immigrant violence, and white supremacist rhetoric and general intolerance were prevalent. The rise of Tilbury’s Skinhead chapter had everyone terrified–even the police. After years of systematic torment from Skinheads and with nowhere left to run. After being forced to constantly stand my ground I earnt a reputation and eventually joined my oppressors. I became a black Skinhead.
As my gang involvement escalated, my foster mother in fear of losing her other foster children called the Nigerian Parents. My biological father, now a successful barrister in Nigeria, stepped in, and took me out of Tilbury’s harsh realities, and paid for me to attend a private school in Surrey. Against the odds I thrived and overcame the obstacles of my youth, going on to study law at Kings College London where I gained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Laws.
The issues raised in FARMING have never been fully addressed by British society. They are surreptitiously swept under the carpet, and that’s why the phenomenon of farming has been largely unknown despite the fact, it has existed for decades and that these are things that still impact an entire African generation today. Blacks are simply tolerated in Britain, as opposed to accepted, we simply have to look at the recent Windrush scandal as an example of this. If you want change or harmony, you are going to have to look at these issues honestly and not sweep them under the carpet as if they are a dirty secret that will disappear.
It’s about embracing and accepting that the African population, and other immigrant cultures, have been an integral part of British culture and community. This isn’t about implementing laws, it’s about affecting people’s mindsets, perspectives and attitudes. It is my hope that FARMING will do exactly that.
Being British isn’t a colour–it’s a culture. Until we get that in our country’s marrow we will never fulfil on a promise that is “Great Britain”. It’s my hope that FARMING gives us an opportunity as a nation to honestly re-evaluate issues with regards to immigration and the black population that lives in the UK. It’s about embracing the black population as a real part of the British fabric, and not the cursory tolerance that currently exists. I would hope that FARMING is the start of a dialogue that can foster change surrounding current attitudes.