Half of a Yellow Sun: Romnatic Melodrama

The romantic melodrama Half of a Yellow Sun tells the story of two twin sisters from Nigeria, who embark on a journey through the war.  In moments, the saga is powerful and intensely emotional, though overall it succumbs to conventional sentimentality.

Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to the newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their English education, the two women make different choices.

Olanna goes to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) in the university town of Nsukka, whereas Kainene becomes a successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, before falling for for Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer.

In its good moments, the film places the sisters’ romantic entanglements against a political context that’s larger than life, depicting how they become caught up in the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought a struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic.

 

Credits:

Directed by Biyi Bandele

Screenplay by Bandele, based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel

Produced by Andrea Calderwood

Running Time: 113 min