It appears Nigerians will finally get to see the critically acclaimed movie ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun‘ by Biyi Bandele after the National film and video censor’s board approved the movie for viewing in Nigerian cinemas.
The movie was censored shortly after its glamorous première in Lagos after the censors board expressed what it called ‘concerns’ about some scenes in the movie which it said could incite violence in the country.
The movie based on author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award winning novel is a tale of a family’s experiences during the Biafran war.
The movie’s director Biyi Bandele and many film critics as well as Nigerians have expressed regret at the delay of the film which should was initially scheduled for release in April, a week after it’s London Premiere but the Nigeria censors board refused to approve the film for public viewing, prompting British based playwright Bandele to accuse the board of backtracking after not giving any warning of any ‘concerns’.
Bandele in a scathing article published on news website CNN expressed his frustration at the censorship board’s decision. He questioned the fact that the head of the board Patricia Bala along with other members of the board had previewed the film during it’s opening at the Toronto International film festival, a year before its Nigeria release without expressing any concerns afterwards.
In response to the claim that the scenes of war during the Biafran civil war in the film may reopen wounds inflicted by the controversial war, Bandele insisted that many Nigerians had already seen the film without necessary picking up knives and guns.
“Since the Toronto première those many months ago, I’ve seen “Half of a Yellow Sun” at other film festivals in all corners of the globe. And Nigerians being the ubiquitous people that we are have been present in the audiences — quite often in great numbers — at each of these festivals,” he wrote.
“I am yet to meet a single Nigerian who has seen the film who came out of the cinema thinking that they had just seen a film that would incite anyone to violence. If anything, more than once, I’ve been accosted by cinema-goers — some Nigerian, but really, people of all races — who have been profoundly moved by the experience of watching the film. The refrain I’ve heard from them is, war is nasty, isn’t it.”
Featuring a stellar cast including BAFTA award winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, British actress Thandie Newton, Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji and veteran singer Onyeka Onwenu, the long awaited movie will now be available in Nigerian cinemas from the 1st of August to the delight of many Nigerians who have patiently waited for the dispute to be resolved.