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Half of a Yellow Sun2013

  • 3.7
  • passes the bechdel test
Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the "revolutionary professor" Odenigbo and his devoted houseboy Ugwu in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises even herself when she falls in love with Richard, an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life seem to loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire world. A sweeping romantic drama, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone's heart.

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Member Reviews (2)

A sprawling, epic romance set before and during the Nigerian Civil War of the 1960s. This was the most expensive Nollywood film produced ($8 million) and it flopped big around the world. Even so, there is still much to recommend. The art direction is excellent, as are all the technical crafts (not common in Nollywood). The acting is also fine, but one gets the feeling that the screenwriter tried to put in too much of the source material. There's a lack of depth that translates into a soap opera quality. Sometimes the actors pull it off, sometimes it feels like the plot is hopping to and fro. This is a great example of Nollywood trying to break out of its local shell, and for that it is essential. But one wishes the final product had either been a more focused film or a multi-part TV show.

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