Sunday, July 28, 2013

Half of a Yellow Sun

A film based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


  1. From the trailer, the film will be very faithful to the acclaimed novel.
    Chiwetel Ejiofor in a lead role as Odenigbo. The other leads are Thandie Newton and Anika Noni-Rose.
    Here's one synopsis:
    Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins, living a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria. The two women make very different choices of lovers, but rivalry and betrayal must be set aside as their lives are swept up in the turbulence of war.
    OR as imdb puts it:
    A drama that brings together the lives of four people during the struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

    I like the casting choices of Odenigbo and Richard (geeky/clueless white guy). For the female leads, I really wanted Genevieve Nnaji, THE Nollywood star, who could easily have been Annika's or Thandie's twin, but oh well, she has a minor role in this film. I'll try not to let my anger at this distract from enjoying the celebration that is this film adaptation.

    Who else is going to watch it?

  2. Looking forward to this o...the Biafra movie.

  3. According to imdb, the film will go to Toronto (Film Festival) in September 2013. I don't know when it will be on screen everywhere or DVD. For sure when it comes to the screens in Africa, crowds will troop to see it.

  4. The author of Half of a Yellow Sun interestingly has won (like) every major writing award for her novels - Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book for Purple Hibiscus; Orange Broadband Prize: Fiction category for Half of A Yellow Sun; and New York Times: 2013 Best Ten Books for Americanah.
    She was a MacArthur Fellow (2008-2013) and was named Young Person of the Year at The Future Nigeria Awards 2008.
    She is also the author of a nice, world-class collection of short stories titled The Thing Around Your Neck. If you're a reader, get everything she's written and enjoy, learn, or form your opinion of her controversial work.
    My opinion: Half Of A Yellow Sun is important because of its theme - war - that is, what Chinua Achebe in his review called COURAGE. This writer has balls.
    The Thing Around Your Neck is nice because short stories make easy gifts - bigger chance that the recipient will read them. The stories are often charming or engaging but always polished, very competently done.
    Purple Hibiscus was a novel that you may find insightful or not. I recall it being serious, weighty, not funny or charming.
    Americanah was long, like most novels that get taken seriously nowadays. It must have taken courage to dump such a book on the market - it's quite a bit about that silly navel-gazing black politics of the USA. If you are a humanities black studies major, or if you're curious about race, then give it a try.

  5. Americanah won big in America: the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Prize in 2014. People are reading this book. In fact it has joined the rank of books popular enough to be sold by book and newspaper stands at major Lagos busstops. Other such books nowadays include: Half of a Yellow Sun, The Accidental Public Servant (by Nasir El-Rufai), There was a Country (by Achebe), a raft of sometimes nauseating pop-academic or motivational tropes like T.D. Jakes books, Malcolm Gladwell books (The Tipping Point?), The 48 Laws of Power, Ben Carson (I read Gifted Hands as a kid/teen, it was inspirational), ...
    The great news is: people are reading.
    The other news is this is a bestselling Nigerian author in Nigeria. Remember that her Purple Hibiscus is/was on the WAEC list for secondary school exams - that is schoolkids are required to get it. Which translates to high piracy levels on that book, if I know anything about our book distribution system. Like I said, people are reading these novels.

  6. A nice interview with the director, Biyi Bandele:
    Excerpt: "So how did you get involved in Half of a Yellow Sun?

    In 2005 I ran into Chimamanda at a literary festival that we were both invited to. At the time I was writing my novel, Burma Boy, which was set during the Second World War. I told her about it and she told me about Half of a Yellow Sun. At that time I had spent about two or three years trying to bring to the screen Chinua Achebe’s short story, Girls at War, and that wasn’t going anywhere, we just couldn’t get anyone interested. And when Chimamanda’s book came out, I read it, and I just thought, this is perfect. One of the inspirations for it, according to Chimamanda, was Girls at War. I love the characters. I thought what the book was about was an important experience for Nigerians. All these issues we never talk about and when we do talk about them, we talk about them in very emotive, very tribal, very nationalistic manner. And I felt it was something that we needed to talk about honestly.

    You became personally invested in it?
    I am a Nigerian, yes. And I was born during that war."

    Read full interview here

  7. The cool thing if this Half Yellow Sun film succeeds locally is that there will be more attempts to take on themes like war and ethnicity head-on in Nollywood film designed for the urban(e) crowd. I think so.


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