Thandie Newton, the leading actress in the Nigerian civil war drama Half of a Yellow Sun has compared the film to Gone with the Wind, the 1939 epic historical film based on American civil war-era South.
The British actress also told Julie Miller in the interview published by Vanity Fair that her role as "Olanna" is the most sophisticated modern woman she has ever played so far.
Julie Miller: You’ve described Half of a Yellow Sun as being like Gone with the Wind set in Nigeria. Can you explain what you meant by that?
Thandie Newton: Well, this is all happening when the Biafran War [or the Nigerian Civil War] kicks off, and that was really run by the intellectuals and the academics, the world that Olanna has chosen to be in. And even when she has a chance to leave, to get on a flight that costs god knows how much, to join her wealthy parents to get out of there, she chooses not to because she is involved in this struggle that comes from the roots and the people. That’s why it is like Gone with the Wind. Because it is about the complete transformation of a person as well as a place.
Half of a Yellow Sun was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.