Sunday, July 28, 2013

No. This is Not Rwanda, It is Biafra!

No, these are not scenes from Terry George's Hotel Rwanda and of course Chiwetel Ejiofor is not Donald Frank "Don" Cheadle, Jr. These are gripping melodramatic scenes from the Nigerian-British film adaptation of Half of A Yellow Sun, the thrilling award winning novel on the ill-fated Igbos Republic of Biafra by the young and successful Nigerian Igbo novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The movie has a well chosen cast of British and Nigerian actors, including leading roles by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton and other notable actors in the movie include Anika Noni Rose, John Boyega, Joseph Mawle and famous Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji who ironically played a minor role as a Yoruba woman and not her native Igbo which would have been more appreciated by millions of her fellow Igbos in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

This is the baptism of fire in directing for popular British Nigerian writer Biyi Bandele who also wrote the screenplay for this Nigerian civil war drama about the lives of four people in Biafra. No one has dared to make such a film since the end of the internecine civil war over 40 years ago. A catastrophe that claimed more lives than the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, because 1–3 million people died in Biafra compared to the less than 1 million people who died in the Rwandan war. Co-produced by Scottish producer Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films, who is best known for her Bafta and Academy Award winning The Last King Of Scotland, and Gail Egan of Potboiler Productions, best known for producing The Constant Gardner and Vera Drake. The World Premiere will be at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

 ~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima.

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