Movie Review: The Last Tree
The Last Tree is about a lot of things. It’s about an identity crisis, coming of age, racism and brexit, even though that last one is not directly mentioned anywhere but its undercurrents lie throughout. The film is about the inner life of a teenager Femi, whose English upbringing and African heritage have never quite made peace with each other.
Femi must decide which path to adulthood he wants to take, and what it means to be a young Black man in London during the early 2000s. The film places the viewer in the perspective of Femi, as we grow and develop with him. This immersive experience allows the watcher to walk in his footsteps and feel the force of a violent act or even a tender moment.
Without giving too much away, what I appreciated in this film was the depiction of religion, especially African ones. Too many times in mainstream cinema they get projected in a negative light. In the film, Femi takes a trip to Lagos and tries to define his identity and understand his roots. The traditional religion that his mother has always followed is an important part of his story and the director Shola Amoo has shown an interwoven fabric of his Nigerian history and how it relates to his present circumstances.