Half of a Yellow Sun

  • Half of a Yellow Sun
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2013
Format : Feature
Running time : 106 (in minutes)

A drama that brings together the lives of four people during the struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

Nigeria / UK, 2013, Feature, 1hr46mins, Drama

Director: Biyi Bandele

starring Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Mawle

Country: Nigeria, UK

Year: 2013

Written and directed by Biyi Bandele

Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Cast: Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Mawle, Anika Noni Rose, Genevieve Nnaji, John Boyega

Produced by Andrea Calderwood

Executive Producers: Yewande Sadiku, Muhtar Bakare, Gail Egan, Norman Merry, Peter Hampden

Cinematographer: John de Borman

Editor: Chris Gill

Production Designer: Andrew McAlpine

Music: Ben Onono, Paul Thomson

Running Time (minutes): 106

Celebrated playwright Biyi Bandele's directorial debut, an adaption of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize-winning novel, chronicles the captivating journey of two women during the tumult of Nigeria's independence and ensuing Nigerian-Biafran War (1967-1970), a conflict prompted by the attempted secession of Nigeria's southeastern region and its formation into the short-lived Republic of Biafra. With the vast sweep of an epic, Half of a Yellow Sun tells the story of a generation through the prism of the sisters' thorny romantic destinies: Olanna (Thandie Newton) falls in love with Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor, also at the Festival in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave), a revolutionary who fathers a child by another woman, while Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) enters into a romance with a British writer (Joseph Mawle) who has come to Nigeria to teach.

Nigerian-born Bandele rose to prominence after his 1997 British stage version of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. His take on Half of a Yellow Sun, which streamlines and brings a charged cinematic energy to Adichie's sprawling text, is further evidence of his skill at literary adaptation. The novel's seamless translation to the screen is aided immeasurably by the film's cast: Ejiofor's bracingly charismatic turn as the intellectual militant; Onyeka Onwenu as his hardline mother; and Newton, whose subtle, knowing performance makes her the dramatic anchor in this tale of a country adrift in a sea of ethnic strife and male domination, yet longing for self-determination.

While its historical scope looks fifty years into the past, Half of a Yellow Sun is a chilling, lucid, and emotionally gripping drama from contemporary Nigerian cinema, and a film that honours the fearless intelligence and strength of the country's women.

RASHA SALTI (TIFF 2013, Toronto)

Genre: Drama
Country: Nigeria, UK

Director: Biyi Bandele
Countries: Nigeria / United Kingdom
Orig. Work Title Half of a Yellow Sun
Year: 2013
Language: English
Runtime: 106 minutes
Rating: 14A

Principal Cast: Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anika Noni Rose
Screenplay: Biyi Bandele
Source Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Cinematographer: John de Borman
Editor: Chris Gill
Sound: Giancarlo Dellapina
Music: Ben Onono, Paul Thomson
Prod. Designer: Andrew McAlpine
Exec. Producer: Yewande Sadiku, Muhtar Bakare, Gail Egan, Norman Merry, Peter Hampden
Producer: Andrea Calderwood
Production Co.: Slate Films
Int. Sales Agent: Metro International Entertainment

Release Date [UK]: 14 May 2013 (Postponed)

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2013 | 38th Toronto International Film Festival | TORONTO, Canada | September 5 to 15, 2013.
* Selection: Special Presentation
* World Premiere
* Screening: Sunday September 8 / Winter Garden Theatre / 4:30 PM
* Screening: Monday September 9 / Scotiabank 4 / 1:30 PM
* Screening: Saturday September 14 / Scotiabank 4 / 9:30 PM


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Half of a Yellow Sun



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