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HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

Director: Biyi Bandele

111 minutes, Nigeria-U.K., 2013, Colour, D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT THE IFI

Tickets are on sale now. This film closes on Thursday, April 17th.

Based on the Orange prize-winning novel of the same name, Bandele’s adaptation insightfully portrays the Nigerian civil war by exploring its abiding impact on his characters’ lives.

Focusing on sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and the sardonic Kainene (Anika Noni Rose), the film charts their experiences, from optimistic beginnings upon Nigeria’s independence from Britain in 1960, to the uneasy adjustment to a new order, and the bloody conflict that ensues. Attention rests primarily on erudite Olanna who moves to Nsukka to join her lover, Odenigbo (12 Years a Slave’s superb Chiwetel Ejiofor), an impassioned but carousing sceptic. Ideas of lecturing and starting a family are quickly thwarted when the scale of ethnic tensions develops and Odenigbo commits an act of betrayal that may be impossible for Olanna to forgive.

Conflating the personal with the political to skilful effect, this is a moving account of a significant, turbulent time.

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