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Half of a Yellow Sun

Nigeria | 2013 | 106 minutes | Biyi Bandele

Based on the eponymous novel, Half of a Yellow Sun follows the lives of two Nigerian sisters in the 1960s who return home after receiving education in England. The tumultuous Nigerian Civil War is the backdrop to this author-approved drama adaptation.

May 20, 2014
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's epic 2006 bestseller comes to the big screen in a sprawling melodrama that perfectly captures the Nigerian Civil War of the late '60s. First-time writer-director Biyi Bandele takes the novel's twisting narrative structure and focuses on Odenigbo (Ejiofor) and Olanna (Newton), a radical academic and his sophisticated girlfriend, allowing the other characters and storylines to orbit efficiently around their central drama. Olanna and her sister Kainene have returned from University in England, and Olanna's swift move to live with the revolutionary Odenigbo is frowned upon by his traditional-minded mother (clearly foreshadowing the tension that will erupt along social lines). As violence erupts across the country, Odenigbo and Olanna are forced to flee, and so begins Bandele's film on its displaced journey toward resolution, effectively bridging the personal and historical realities of an African country struggling to find its identity. Half of a Yellow Sun's impressive performances and rich visuals create an exceptional foundation for a driving drama that both informs about the history of Nigeria and creates a deeper understanding of the challenges of regaining culture following colonialist rule.

Director Biography

This Nigerian playwright studied drama in Lagos but worked with the prestigious Royal Court Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also wrote several TV and radio dramas through the 90s. His first movie Half of a Yellow Sun was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Delta Air Lines

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Packaged Films

Columbite Tantalite

A postcolonial parable about the west's hunger for African mineral wealth, and about Congo's struggle to come to terms with its past created as part of the YV Shorts, inspired by productions at the Young Vic.
Director: Biyi Bandele
Principal Cast: Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Boyega, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle
Country: Nigeria, United Kingdom
Year: 2013
Running Time: 106 minutes
Producer: Andrea Calderwood
Screenplay: Biyi Bandele, based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Cinematographers: John De Borman
Editors: Chris Gill
Music: Ben Onono, Paul Thomson
Website: Film Official Website
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English
Format: DCP
International Sales: Metro International Entertainment
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