6.1/10
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Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

R | | Drama, Romance | 16 May 2014 (USA)
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Sisters Olanna and Kainene return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic.

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(novel), (screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Onyeka Onwenu ...
Mama
...
Okeoma
Susan Wokoma ...
Amala
Jude Orhorha ...
Harrison
...
Miss Adebayo
Gloria Young ...
Aunty Ifeka
Tina Mba ...
Mrs. Ozobia
...
Chief Okonji
Ayo Lijadu ...
Professor Ezeka
Naya Amobi ...
Arize
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Storyline

Sisters Olanna and Kainene return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Divided by war. United by love.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

16 May 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Half a Yellow Sun  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

NGN 1,270,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,843 (USA) (16 May 2014)

Gross:

$53,645 (USA) (8 August 2014)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered at Toronto's International Film Festival. See more »


Soundtracks

Naughty Little Flea
Written by Lord Flea (as Norman Thomas)
Performed by Miriam Makeba
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User Reviews

 
I'm sorry, I just didn't like it.
13 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is a great example of some incredible archive footage ruined by a boring, mediocre and incoherent film in between.

Yes, I have read the book. I wasn't expecting a literal screen translation of the book, as the book covers a vast array of characters, but I did expect the essence of it to be retained.

It wasn't.

The film follows the lives of twin sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Akina Noni Rose) right after Nigeria gets its independence from the British and through to the Biafran war, as the Igbo people struggle to establish an independent republic. The film (similar to the book) tries to follow the lives of these 2 affluent young women, their relationships with men and with one another set against a significant historical event in Nigeria.

I went to watch this film specifically to support African Cinema and exited about a Nigerian Director making a film with a strong cast. I was bitterly disappointed with the lazy result.

Firstly the performances; Chiwetel Ejiofor is ever earnest in his role as Olanna's lover Odenigbo. He is OK, not offensive and gives a similar performance as he did in 12 years a slave. Thandie Newton is horrific. She has literally two expressions. I like to think its to do with the bad direction, someone should have told her she's over-acting .

The worst and best performance came from Odenigbo's Mother played by Onyeka Onwenu. What can I say. The best is that she was very entertaining, funny and a joy to watch. What made it the worst was that it belonged to a different film. A film I would have preferred to watch by the way. Her performance added a quality of a soap opera to the film. Anika had the strongest performance among them and deserves a mention for it.

The film has two parts, the first comes across as a cheap soap opera and the second, a cheap action movie. Choices that were made baffled me. Scenes played out that were pointless and didn't add much to the plot, making the first half plod along longer than it should have. The second half was riddled with inconsistencies and poor editing. Characters were introduced just as quickly as they were killed off. I am not sure why it was important to illustrate on a map were everyone was, that added nothing.

But the biggest problem with the film is that it lacked a director, a proper director. There wasn't anyone keeping the actors believable, controlling the movement of the camera, having a coherent edit or keeping tabs on the horrendous sound score.

Unbelievably the producers also produced Constant Gardener and should have known better than this. How can you allow an inexperienced Director to helm such a significant film? It's arrogant and irresponsible.

I am African (yes, I know it's a continent), I applaud any one trying to make our stories for an audience outside of the continent but this effort was so poor that I had to write about it. We can do much better than this.


23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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