If you missed the very limited release of the film “Half of a Yellow Sun” earlier this year, you can now rent or buy it on Vimeo On Demand.
The film is based on the historical novel by Nigerian author extraordinaire Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which was released in 2007.
The story follows the lives of wealthy Nigerian twins returning to Nigeria after being educated in London. The twins, played by Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose, juggle family, love, and their careers against the backdrop of the Nigerian civil war. Chiwetel Ejiofor also stars as Newton’s character’s love interest – a revolutionary professor, who butts heads with her family.
The civil war, which is commonly referred to as the Biafran War, lasted three years – from 1967 to 1970. The bitter battle, which took place six years after Nigeria’s independence from Britain, mainly involved the economic, ethnic, and religious conflict between the northern Hausas and the southeastern Igbos, who attempted to establish Biafra as an independent republic.
During the war, it is believed that over one million people died from starvation and war violence.
Since the book’s release in 2007, it has sold over a million copies worldwide and is hailed as a tour de force for the contemporary African author, who made not just Nigerians or Africans take note, but the world as well. “Time” magazine wrote that the book is, “A gorgeous, pitiless account of love, violence and betrayal during the Biafran war.” “The New York Times” declared, “Instantly enthralling…vivid…powerful…a story whose characters live in a changing wartime atmosphere, doing their best to keep that atmosphere at bay.”
Surprisingly, with all of the book’s success, the film’s top talent couldn’t make it hit at the independent film box-office and it received mixed reviews. While many critics enjoyed the acting, they felt the execution suffered. The “Los Angeles Times” said of the movie, “…It’s just not stirring enough as a historical drama.” “The New York Times” review said that the film, “…emerges on screen as a well-acted, finely wrought epic that nevertheless struggles to balance the requirements of melodrama with its drive to capture a historical moment.”
You can be your own judge of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” by renting it for $3.99 or buying it for $12.99 on Vimeo On Demand – http://vimeo.com/ondemand/halfofayellowsun. The film is rated R for war violence.
For more information on Chimamanda, check out her site at: http://chimamanda.com.