The Nigerian film board
Delays the release of ‘HOAYS’ in Nigeria
Half of a Yellow Sun, is a love story that draws a lot of attention to the Biafran War in the 1960/70s. The movie is based on the acclaimed novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and directed by Nigerian London based movie director Biyi Bandele. The movie premiered in Lagos Nigeria on the 12th of April,and was set to be released in Cinemas from Friday the 25th of April 2014.
The director Biyi strongly believe it is a love story and not a story emphasising on war. “The movie is an adaptation of a book that most people have read already and has no reason to be withheld“, he said. “Having been premiered both in London and Nigeria, the audience loved the movie because it is a love story and not a movie that will impact war among Nigerians“. he added.
It is believed that the subject of war remains extremely sensitive to Nigerians even thou the Biafran war ended over 40 years ago. There is also a concern that even if the book was released in Nigeria, there is a high rate of illiteracy, and a film is likely to get more attention. Thus ‘HOYAS‘ sympathy with Biafrans could stir up ethnic tension.
Mr Bandele told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that he wasn’t sure why the censorship board had delayed certification and that the Nigeria film board saw the film seven months ago, and why didn’t they act then?
“What’s frustrating is we have not received a formal letter from the board telling us we’ve been banned, or that we’ve not been banned,” he added. Biyi also said the film raised issues which Nigeria badly needed to discuss.
“One of the reasons Nigeria is more divided today – 40 years after the end of the war than it was before the war started, is because we have refused to talk about the elephant in the room.” he concluded.
The 2nd of May is another predicted date, for the movie release, but Mr Biyi’s interview implied some cloud in the sky, we will have to wait and see if ‘HOYAS’ get released in Nigeria very soon.
The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Genevieve Nnaji, Onyeka Onwenu, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, OC Ukeje, and John Boyega and much more.
Written by: Noellin Imoh.