Now Film/Video | Contemporary Screen

The Last Tree

(Shola Amoo, 2019)

Stream | Columbus Premiere

A teenaged Femi, shown in profile, looks off into the distance

Take an immersive coming-of-age journey with The Last Tree, a stirring portrait of a Black teenager carving out his own identity in the UK and beyond.

The drama introduces us to 11-year-old Femi (played by newcomer Tai Golding), a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after being fostered in white, rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner-city London to live with his birth mother. Jumping ahead, we see a fragile Femi at 16 (Sam Adewunmi) struggling with his multicultural new environment, where he must choose a path to adulthood while negotiating what it means to be a young Black man in South London during the early 2000s. The film’s final act takes Femi to Lagos, where he discovers more about his Nigerian roots, his birth father, and hope for a better future.

As director Shola Amoo notes, while “the film doesn't deal with racism in the most overt way… it's quietly a revolt….It's subtle and implied, but showing a young Black male self-actualizing is still revolutionary.” The Last Tree won the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival and stars Ruthxjiah Bellenea and Sam Adewunmi were recognized as Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards. (98 mins., digital video) 
Closed captioning available

More about the film
The Last Tree review—tender tale of an uprooted childhood,” Guardian (UK)
Interview, "’It's a quiet revolt’: Filmmaker on how The Last Tree moves between Black and white spaces,” Salon

"Bristles with film-making confidence…profoundly moving."
Guardian (UK)
A young Femi talks to his birth mother Yinka (Gbemisola Ikumelo) in his bedroom

Image courtesy ArtMattan Films

A muddied young Femi screams in rage at the camera

Image courtesy ArtMattan Films

Tears roll down the face of Femi's friend Tope (Ruthxjiah Bellenea)

Image courtesy ArtMattan Films

A teenage Femi in shirt and tie looks down with a bloodied nose

Image courtesy ArtMattan Films

MADE POSSIBLE BY
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Huntington Bank
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Kaufman Development
Cardinal Health Foundation

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The Last Tree