That was fast! I didn’t even realize they had already secured the funds to begin production.
Principal photography has begun for the much-discussed (on S&A anyway) film adaptation of celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Orange Prize-winning novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun, in Nigeria.
We already know that Thandie Newton, John Boyega, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper, and Genevieve Nnaji make up the film’s cast; but I only just learned that Anika Noni Rose and Game Of Thrones’s Joseph Mawle are also in the film, which is playwright Biyi Bandele’s feature film directorial debut.
Described as an epic love story, here’s the official synopsis released by the film’s producers which tells us what role each starring actor will play:
… weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war. Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. 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 (Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (Boyega) 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 herself when she falls in love with Richard (Mawle) an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.
Nnaji joins the aforementioned Thandie Newton, as well as in what’s shaping up to be one hell of a production to keep our eyes on as it progresses.
The crew includes award-winning cinematographer John de Borman (An Education, The Full Monty), production designer Andrew McAlpine (BAFTA winner for The Piano), and award-winning Nigerian songwriter Cobhams Asuquo and singer-songwriter Keziah Jones. who’ll compose original music for the film, which is scheduled to shoot through june 23 on location in both Nigeria (Calabar specifically) and London.
I’ve yet to read the book, but I plan to in the next month or so, which will be followed by a book-to-film report; but those of you who have read it should feel free to chime in if you’d like.