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A prolific Nigerian playwright, novelist and screenwriter now based in London, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is Biyi Bandele’s feature film directorial debut. This first feature follows his distinguished career writing and directing plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court, and writing screenplays for the BBC and British and international film productions.
Bandele has previously written and directed a short, THE KISS (2009), a psychological thriller.
For television, Bandele wrote Not Even God is Wise Enough directed by Danny Boyle for BBC2 in 1994. His prolific writing for theatre includes his adaptation of Aphra Benn’s Oroonoko, which was a huge hit for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2000, and was successfully revived by New York’s Theatre for a New Audience in 2007. Bandele’s fiction writing includes Burma Boy published by Jonathan Cape in 2007 (published as The King’s Rifle, Harper Collins in the US in 2009).
Film Synopsis: Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises even herself when she falls in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer. They become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic.
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