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Half of a Yellow Sun

Romance . Drama

An epic love story: Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins, living a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria. The two women make very different choices of lovers, but rivalry and betrayal must be set aside as their lives are swept up in the turbulence of war.

Actors: Genevieve Nnaji , Joseph Mawle , Chiwetel Ejiofor , John Boyega , Anika Noni Rose , Thandie Newton
Directors: Biyi Bandele
Country: NIGERIA , UK
Release: 2014-05-16
More Info:
  • Pete Vonder Haar

    Biyi Bandele's Half of a Yellow Sun strikes an admirable balance between drama and history.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Mary Houlihan

    The film is well acted all around and the excellent art direction brings the ’60s to colorful life. But Bandele struggles to balance an epic story of civil war and death against the equally epic story of sisters whose lives are forever changed by circumstances they can’t control.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It’s a bit of a muddle and a touch too soap operatic. But Newton, Rose and Ejiofor give their characters and this story just enough pathos to make the history lessons sink in.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Clayton Dillard

    It falls into the trappings of middlebrow literary adaptation by finding only sporadic means to convincingly adjudicate the trauma and anguish of its transitory epoch.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Those who only know Chiwetel Ejiofor from his quietly powerful work in the Best Picture-winning “12 Years a Slave” should see him here — to experience his range.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Mike McCahill

    Only a film as big as Africa could have done Adichie’s novel full justice; the treatment it gets here, equally honourable and hurried, reduces it to Nigerian soap with BAFTA-level acting.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Half of a Yellow Sun is the kind of ambitious literary adaptation that wants it all kinds of ways, not all of them compatible.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    The rare prestige pic that could actually stand to be longer.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    Bandele’s keen handling of cast and domestic conflict makes for a nuanced historical epic, but he’s less sure on the big stuff.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Trevor Johnston

    Half of a Yellow Sun bravely takes on too broad a canvas with too narrow a budget, but it’s a relevant saga that’s worth telling.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Half of a Yellow Sun winds up being one of those movies in which a pesky event of great historical import keeps getting in the way of a soap-opera romance.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    Biyi Bandele's adaptation of Adichie's novel of loyalty and betrayal set against the turbulence of the 1960s Biafran war, certainly makes for an honorably propulsive wartime soap. It's just not stirring enough as historical drama.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Transporting, well acted, and occasionally powerful. It’s also a rushed, maddening mess.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    Half of a Yellow Sun, adapted from the 2006 novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, emerges on screen as a well-acted, finely wrought epic that nevertheless struggles to balance the requirements of melodrama with its drive to capture a historical moment.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    The film struggles in vain to balance petty infidelities and other personal crises with displacement, famine, and death.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    I'm sorry to report that Biyi Bandele's would-be saga, based on the celebrated novel by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, is disappointing, a romance pastiche that muddles the politics of the period beyond comprehension.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    the film is often stately and sluggish with some very daytime-soapy moments of emotional revelation.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Ben Nicholson

    An uneven blend of melodrama and the horrors of civil war, it should be anchored by strong leads but instead remains listless and adrift.

    CineVue Full Review
  • David Hughes

    Newcomers will be puzzled by the clumsy contextualisation and muddled motivation of characters who, robbed of their inner lives by a clunky script, are left floundering amid the melodrama and speak-the-plot dialogue.

    Empire Full Review
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