April 30, 2014


Is film about Biafran civil war, ‘Half of a yellow sun’, being censored? The Nigerian film certifying board seems to be delaying its release.

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Is film about Biafran civil war, ‘Half of a yellow sun’, being censored?

Is film about Biafran civil war, ‘Half of a yellow sun’, being censored?

Nigeria’s National Film & Video Censors Board has delayed the premier of the movie Half of a Yellow Sun in the country in what is being perceived as a move to ban the movie.

The film is an adaptation of the award winning novel of the same title by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is not just one of Nigeria’s leading writers but one of the best in Africa.

The movie features among others the 2014 Golden Globes Awards Nominee, Chiwetel Ejiofor of the Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave, which elevated Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o to stardom.


The plot of Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in part during Nigeria’s civil war (the Biafran War) which took place between 1967 and 1970. More than a million people are reported to have died in the war.

According to the film director, Biyi Bandele, the film was scheduled to open in Nigerian cinemas last Friday but that was not possible because the country’s film censorship board refused to issue the movie a certificate. “We have not received a formal letter from the board telling us we’ve been banned or not,” Bandele said.

The film premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently being screened in Britain and plans are underway for it to open in the United States next month.


Meanwhile, both local and international media have been rife with the rumour that Lupita is being considered for a role in the film adaptation of Chimamanda’s recent novel Americanah, which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. This is after the author hinted on the same during an interview with Arise Entertainment 360 last month where she talked about the recent successes of black actors in Hollywood.

“I’m going to do the mysterious thing and say that Lupita might be making an announcement very soon. I don’t know. That announcement might be about Americanah”, she uttered at one point during the interview.


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