Half of A Yellow Sun (Nigeria: 2013)


Biyi Bandele-Thomas

Cast list

Thandie Newton... Olanna
Chiwetel Ejiofor... Odenigbo
Joseph Mawle... Richard
Anika Noni Rose... Kainene
John Boyega... Ugwu
Hakeem Kai-Kazim... Captain DUTSE
Rob David... Redhead Charles
O.C. Ukeje... Aniekwena
Babou Ceesay... Okeoma
Paul Hampshire... Professor Lehman
Genevieve Nnaji... Ms Adebayo
Onyeka Onwenu... Mama
Susan Wokoma... Amala
Zach Orji


Writers: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (novel), Biyi Bandele (screenplay)


Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Achibe’s novel, Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in the late sixties and tells the stories of two sisters, Olanna and Kainene, during the time of the Nigerian-Biafran War. Olanna falls in love with a man named Odenigbo who is a revolutionary man and Kainene begins a relationship with a British man who came to Nigeria to teach. While Olanna goes against her family to be with Odenigbo, this revolutionist has a hard time doing the same. His mother tries to separate Olanna and Odenigbo and one night when he was drunk he had an affair with the maid. The maid becomes pregnant and this is especially hard for Olanna since she can’t have children. Olanna has an affair with her sister’s boyfriend and before the wounds can heal, the political state of the country takes the focus of the group. The southerners declare independence and mass violence has forced the family to move from their homes in the north. The second half of the movie focuses on war and how it affected civilians on a day-to-day basis. Evacuations, shootings, and starvation are the harsh reality of the time period and not even the wedding of Olanna and Odenigbo escapes the consequences of war.Major themes of the movie are tensions in class and how relationships transitioned throughout the time of war. The movie portrays the environment that each sister lives in, due to each one’s choice of lifestyle. Olanna accepts Odenigbo’s daughter as her own and learns to live in poverty. Kainene switches gears from working for her father and taking charge of a large company to managing a refugee camp.


Barnabay Walter, “London Film Festival Review: Half of a Yellow Sun” The National Student (online magazine)

Half of A Yellow Sun” TimeOut London (magazine)

Myne Whitman, “Genevieve Nnaji Cut From Half of a Yellow Sun Movie?” Myne Whitman Writes (blog)

Judeumeh, “Half of a Yellow Sun (London Film Festival)” blueprint: review(website)

Nerissa Golden, “Film Review: Half of a Yellow Sun” Trulycaribbean.net (website)

Z’étoile Imma “Review of Film Version of Half of a Yellow Sun”AfricaSpeaks4Africa (online magazine)

Samira Sawlani, “Film Review: Half Baked Yellow Sun” Media Diversified (online magazine)

Film Adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun is Epic and Striking, Says Movie Critic” Brittle Paper (online news)

Alex Billington, “Indie Trailer Sunday: Chiwetel Ejiofor in TIFF's Half of a Yellow Sun”FirstShowing.net (website)

Half of a Yellow Sun” African Movie Reviewer (blog)

Japhet Alakam, “ Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun Rocks Toronto Film Festival”Vanguard (magazine)

Review of Nigeria’s ‘Most Expensive’ Movie Half of a Yellow Sun” Movie Markers (website)

Half of a Yellow Sun” Thandie.net (website)

Emmanuel Akerele “Half of a Yellow Sun Film Debuts Amid Rave Reviews” Hallmark (magazine)

Leslie Felperin, “Half of a Yellow Sun: London Review” The Hollywood Reporter (online? Magazine)

Z’étoile Imma, “Review of the Film Version of Half of a Yellow Sun (Chimamanda Adiche’s novel)” Africa is a Country (blog)

Guy Lodge, “Toronto Film Review: Half of a Yellow Sun” Variety (online magazine)

Zeba Blay, “TIFF 2013 Review - Biyi Bandele’s Adaptation Of 'Half Of A Yellow Sun' Misses The Mark” Shadow and Act On Cinema of the African Diaspora(blog)

Mark Adams, “Half of a Yellow Sun” Screeendaily(online magazine)

Paul MacInnes, “Biyi Bandele: and Then We All Got Typhoid” theguardian (newspaper)

Jenny Soffel, “'Half of a Yellow Sun': Thandie Newton, typhoid and a tale of civil war” CNN Entertainment (online news:entertainment)

Julie Miller, “Thandie Newton on Half of a Yellow Sun, Struggling to Find Her Identity, and Hollywood’s Ego Problem” Vanity Fair (blog based on a magazine)

Cate Young, “[Movie Review] TTFF2013 Premiere: Half Of A Yellow Sun” Battymamzelle (blog)

Rasha Salti, “Half of a Yellow Sun” tiff. (website)

Academic Articles:

“Half and Half Children”: Third-Generation Women Writers and the New Nigerian Novel by Jane Bryce, Research in African Literatures, Volume 39, Number 2, Summer 2008, pp. 49-67

Nationalism, African Cinema, and Frames of Scrutiny by Jude Akudinobi, Research in African Literatures, Volume 32, Number 3, Fall 2001, pp. 123-142

Metonymic Eruptions: Igbo Novelists, the Narrative of the Nation, and New Developments in the Contemporary Nigerian Novel by Obi Nwakanma, Research in African Literatures, Volume 39, Number 2, Summer 2008, pp. 1-14

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