LEAP FROG FILMS
HALF OF A YELLOW SUN
Release Date: 27 March 2014
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness) as an upper class couple whose marriage is put to the test when Nigeria breaks into the crippling 1967 civil war that births the short-lived republic of Biafra.
When political lines are drawn and families are forced to scatter, Odenigbo (Ejiofor) and Olanna (Newton) find themselves in the middle of an escalating conflict that drives them from their university-town home and threatens Olanna’s relationship with her sister, Kainene (Anika Noni Rose). They make their way to Umuahia, where they struggle to survive and take care of their daughter and Ugwu – the houseboy – in the face of increasing shortages of food and medicine. But soon the advancing (and far superior) Nigerian troops make Umuahia unsafe, so Odenigbo and his family flee once again. They move in with Kainene and Richard (her British lover) near the refugee camp that Kainene runs. And although they are relatively safe for the first time in months, the situation in Biafra becomes increasingly hopeless as Nigerian blockades make it impossible for food or aid of any kind to reach the embattled Biafrans. When the war finally ends – and Biafra’s nascent nation is destroyed – Odenigbo, Olanna and their family return home to begin again. They have lost so much and it won’t be easy, but they are alive and so is their hope for the future.
The drama premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to three standing ovations and is the feature directing debut of celebrated Nigerian novelist and playwright Biyi Bandele.
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