Showing: Half of the Yellow Sun

April 9, 2014

On Monday I was fortunate enough to go to the (mini) premiere of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s book turned film, Half of the Yellow Sun directed by Biyi Bandele. The viewing was followed to be followed by a Q&A with Bandele with a surprise appearance by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (you can see on instagram).
I started reading Ghana must go by Taiye Selasi about two weeks ago and I was talking to my friend about the Adichie books I had recently purchased. She told me that I should start reading Half of the Yellow Sun before the movie comes out. I thought I had time, so I started reading last week and then I found out about the premiere. I was quite disappointed that I hadn’t found the time to finish. There is nothing better than reading a book before watching the film adaptation. Following that process you know the core of the story rather than a washed out version of it on screen. You also formulate your own visuals when reading so it becomes a guessing game watching how things unfold comparing it to what you saw in your imagination.

I haven’t even read that far into the book and already I think the book and film are two different stories from the same core point. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I noticed it straight away. During question time someone asked Adichie if she liked the film because she didn’t really have any involvement with it. She said if she didn’t like it she would have said it. She also said that you could tell that the film was made by someone who loved Nigeria. I definitely got that sense. The film has a nostalgic feeling, showing a Nigeria that was before the Biafra war. I have heard Adichie mention interviews that she wrote this books because the Biafra war is a topic which is not spoken in Nigeria. Funnily enough out of all the things my Dad has taught me about his upbringing in Ghana and living/working in Nigeria, military coos and what not, the Biafra war has never been mentioned. Makes me even more determined to finish reading the book and dig out more info about the war.

The film is being shown at a number of cinemas over the next couple of weeks (in NSW). I encourage you to check it out at a cinema near you!

Set in Nigeria and based on the best selling book of the same name and from the producers of The Constant Gardner and The Last King of Scotland. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness) and interweaves the stories of four people struggling to survive during the fight to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

More info: Leap frog films