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Hollywood actor's film on Tilbury upbringing
3:20pm Friday 18th May 2012 in News
A HOLLYWOOD actor who grew up in Tilbury has written a film based on his experiences in the town.
London-born Adewale Akinnuoye-agbaje, 44, who has starred in films such as G.I Joe, Mummy Returns and the Bourne Identity, was fostered with white working-class parents in Tilbury while his Nigerian parents built their career and found their feet in the UK.
Adewale’s film, called Farming, is based on his experiences as a black child who became a skinhead in the seventies, when the National Front were at their most prominent.
A £10,000 award was presented to Adewale at the Sundance London Film Festival after his script was read by stars Minnie Driver, Ashley Walters and David Hare-wood.
The autobiographical film tells the tale of a boy called Enitan, who is “farmed” by his Nigerian immigrant parents while they work, study and save.
But Enitan struggles to create an identity for himself while living with his new foster family in Tilbury and becomes involved with a group of skinheads.
Of the script, Adewale has said: “It’s pretty autobiographical.
“It's an inspiring story, even though it took place amid poverty. It happened to children who see the world through innocent eyes, there's no judgment. They just see it as life; there's a real humour. It was traumatic, but while you were in it it was just your life. You don't realise it wasn't normal.
"It celebrates an era, and pays homage to the best things we love about Britain: our culture, our sense of humour, our music, our fashion sense. It does show elements of racism and the frustration in the country at the time."
Adewale went on to get a degree in law at King’s College London before moving to Milan to become a model.
He later turned his hand to acting and moved to Los Angeles. Born in Islington, Adewale, who is fluent in several languages including Italian and Swahili, played Mr Eko in the hit TV series Lost and starred alongside rapper 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin’.