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Half Of A Yellow Sun Movie Ban In Nigeria Is Political, Chimamanda Adichie Blasts Censors Board

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Half Of A Yellow Sun Movie Ban In Nigeria Is Political, Chimamanda Adichie Blasts Censors Board

Half Of A Yellow Sun Movie Ban In Nigeria

May 3rd, 2014 – Half Of A Yellow Sun Movie Ban In Nigeria Is Political, Chimamanda Adichie Blasts Censors Board

The author of,’ Half Of A Yellow Sun,’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has said the action of Nigerian Video Films and Censors Board to put a hold on the public viewing of the film adaptation of her eponymous book,’Half Of A Yellow Sun,’ is unreasonable.

The celebrated author, whose recent novel, ‘Americanah,’ won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction said the censor boards’ action is more disappointing than surprising, because it is part of a larger Nigerian political culture that is steeped in denial.

In an article, ‘Hiding From Our Past,’ which she wrote for a US based newspaper, The New Yorker, she emphasised the need to revisit our past as a prerequisite to moving forward.

“It is not unusual to hear Nigerians speak of “moving forward,” as though it might be possible merely to wish away the unpleasant past,” she wrote.

While agreeing that the political atmosphere is tensed, she is of the opinion that Nigeria’s political culture is averse to openness, making the response to the film a knee-jark political response.

“The censors’ action is a knee-jerk political response, yet there is a sense in which it is not entirely unreasonable.

Nigeria is on the edge, with upcoming elections, religion and ethnicity increasingly politicized; and Boko Haram committing mass murders and abductions.

In a political culture already averse to openness, this might seem a particularly appropriate time for censorship,” the celebrated author opined.

She noted that it was absurd that security operatives who gather to watch romantic films finds ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ offensive.

Bemoaning Nigerians sense of secrecy and ahistorical culture, Adichie, said censors’ board action is as a result of Nigeria’s unexamined past and partly the truama of years of military dictatorship.

“Soldiers are hostile to video cameras in public. Officials who were yesterday known as thieves are widely celebrated today.”

She noted that Nigerians cannot hide from history. “Many of Nigeria’s present problems are, arguably, consequences of an ahistorical culture…The past is present, and we are better off acknowledging it and, hopefully, learning from it,” she suggested.

In stating her support for the public viewing of the film, Adichie wrote that the Nigeria-Biafra civil war is still wrapped in a formal silence and hope the final arbiters of Nigerian security will approve the film release as part of the final healing process.

“There are no major memorials, and it is hardly taught in schools. This week, Nigerian government censors delayed the release of the film adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun” because, according to them, it might incite violence in the country; the issue in particular is a scene based on a historically documented massacre at a northern Nigerian airport. It is now up to the State Security Service to make a decision,” she wrote in her article.

She said she lost relatives to the civil war, spent years researching what turned out as the fictional novel on Biafra because she was haunted by history.

“A novel about human relationships during the war, centered on a young, privileged woman and her professor lover. It was a deeply personal project based on interviews with family members who were generous enough to mine their pain, yet I knew that it would, for many Nigerians of my generation, be as much history as literature.”

She concluded that Nigerians are sophisticated consumers of culture and, had the censorship board not politicised the film by delaying its release, she opined that few people would have objected to it at all.

In a related development, the publicist company for the film, R & B Public Relations Limited, Shareman Media, the Nigerian producers, and FilmOne Distribution, the Nigerian distributors, of the feature film, Half of a Yellow Sun, have collectively announced that the public release of the film remain postponed.

“The public release of Half of a Yellow Sun in Nigeria remains postponed due to the fact that the National Film and Video Censors Board has not yet certified the film. The release date will be announced once the Board has certified the film for release to the public.

The producers and distributors of the film regret this continuing delay. We are deeply appreciative of the overwhelming interest shown in the film by Nigerians everywhere. Please be assured that we are doing everything within our means to achieve certification and release as soon as possible,” it said in press statement.

[By Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni, PM Lagos]

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. SHCYSCHELLES GODSSON

    May 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Chimamanda Adichie is not sincere with her conscience in trying to impress and impose falsehood she had captured in her book, now sciptured into a film which its contents are largely skewed to draw sympathy or mislead Nigerians about the real genesis of the Biafran war. There’s no doubt Nigeria has had its own rough and difficult pasts as encapsulated by very many actors of the war itself, it should not take Chimamanda Adichie to remind us the cruel and deliberate actrocities of her compatriots Military Junta leaders who chose to engage in selected anihilations of their persived ethnic political and military rivals.

    Nigerians have chosen to live in peace with one another to forge forward as one unified nation, reopening old wound will certainly set the little progress backward. Chimamanda Adichie should never compare Nigerian society with America’s, our level of tolerance and ability to assimilate delicate issues of ethnic rivalry is different and wide apart. The Nigerian Censor board has done the right thing by banning the veiwing of the film in public because we have very intolerable society and very very sensitive attachments to the past pains of our individual ethnic groups. Nigeria in your opinion may be living in denial but the very susceptibility of violence in Nigeria and delicate security situations in Nigeria today makes the banning very sensible move. I urge Chimamanda Adichie to come live in Abuja and share in the fear and panic of Boko Haram bombing; probably she’ll understand emotional trauma Nigerians go through everyday of their lives, she will be left more a confused writer as to why others have to resort to senseless killings just for reasons attachments to religion or ethnic sentiments.

    • BIOLA OLADEHINDE

      May 4, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      Could Chimamanda Adichie take Nigerians through what actually led to the Aguiyi Nrosi’s counter coup which eventually incensed the spark that triggered the Biafran war. You Chimamanda couldn’t just choose to talk about the massacre of Igbos in the North, refuse to deal with the events that lead to the massacre; chose to package falsehood in a skewed story to distort history of the Biafran war. The most painful part of Chimamanda Adichie’s distorted story is the deceptive manner she and her tribal cohorts want Nigerians believe their version of the accounts of the actrocities of the Biafran war and not what the rest of Nigerians believe to be the true story of the war. Nigeria is never living in any denial as suggested by Chimamanda but rather will sort to forget an unpallatable ugly past, so will not want to be reminded of an event which almost brought Nigeria to the brink. Nigeria’s intolerant cups are already full with Boko Haram violence and so are not prepared to re-enact a dead Biafran war.

  2. eric

    May 3, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Nigeria has got a long way 2go hmmmmmm so unfortunate….

  3. Nk Gwarzo

    May 3, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    I support the censors board, its not political but its banned due to the current situation on ground which every body is aware of. Am sure if the movie is realised it will do no good than harm to the unity of our country, since its about Biafran war. So think positively and things will go well.

  4. Metu Nyetu

    May 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Dnt feel so sad@Chimamanda Luvly Angel Adichie! The govt may justify dis barn using their so-calld doctrine of necessity, but dis movie shal somday be seen in evry home in dis coun3. Ppl wil knw d truth abt Biafra@last. I luv a couplet in one Tony Ulonso Anidike’s poem which goes thus:

    The lullaby that, with tunes so clever,
    Lulls truth to sleep never sings 4ever.

    Not so long ago I read an article in one of our national dailies abt Y Gowon would neva write his autobiography, & I belivd d writer wen he said, among many oda things, dat Gowon would hav 2 ansa d question regarding his violating d Aburi Accord, & relinquishing Bakassi 2 Cameroon. And bcs he would neva b abl 2 provide diz answers, he would neva write his autobiography.

  5. BIOLA OLADEHINDE

    May 4, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Could Chimamanda Adichie take Nigerians through what actually led to the Aguiyi Nrosi’s counter coup which eventually incensed the spark that triggered the Biafran war. You Chimamanda couldn’t just choose to talk about the massacre of Igbos in the North, refuse to deal with the events that lead to the massacre; chose to package falsehood in a skewed story to distort history of the Biafran war. The most painful part of Chimamanda Adichie’s distorted story is the deceptive manner she and her tribal cohorts want Nigerians believe their version of the accounts of the actrocities of the Biafran war and not what the rest of Nigerians believe to be the true story of the war. Nigeria is never living in any denial as suggested by Chimamanda but rather will sort to forget an unpallatable ugly past, so will not want to be reminded of an event which almost brought Nigeria to the brink. Nigeria’s intolerant cups are already full with Boko Haram violence and so are not prepared to re-enact a dead Biafran war.

  6. Fairness

    May 4, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    @SHCYSCHELLES GODSSON, I like your views. Thank you for commenting. You sound intelligent. However, if you take a very close look at our society Nigeria today, you would discover one sad but outstanding TRUTH: It is the fact that people are not utilizing their talents in the right way. I do not think you are being fair to the world of “intelligentia”; I doubt whether you are using your intelligence truthfully. You began by condemning Chimamanda as being untruthful. You sounded as if you actually know the entire details of the war first handedly. I also wonder why you have not written to educate all of us. Again, that’s unfair. Every Nigerian is in deep distress groaning in pains waiting for liberation from the country we all love. Our ardent yearning will never come by hiding important truths. History repeat itself when we celebrate ignorance of it.

    No one is doubting that Nigerians “have chosen to live in peace with one another.” Honestly, how could you prove this point where no one, absolutely no one has the courage to discuss the true state of affairs without risking his/her life? Where the perpetrators of the atrocities committed in the civil war are using the long-a-ago-looted public funds to destroy innocent citizens as part of your ritual-devilish sacrifice under the guise of BOKO HARAM? Have you for once asked yourself about what this sect is out for? What kind of peaceful Nation would shut the doors of developments and growth for her youths? What peace are we talking about where the Northerners have repeatedly vowed they are the only qualified people to rule Nigeria? Which other nation makes more than 400mUSD per day without any sign of it anywhere in the lives of her citizens?

    Godsson, “we have very intolerable society and sensitive attachment to the past pains of our individual ethnic groups” because those who inflicted the past pains have continued to pour insults to the already hurting injuries. Our society would have been more tolerable and embracing were not for imposition of sharia law against innocent citizens of a country with freedom of religion. I do not think we are particularly susceptible to violence. Rather it is the fact that human nature is intrinsically obliged to self preservation. So everyone struggles to survive.

    And as the Nigerian government has for the most part remained a mere figure head portraying grand obtuse and basking charades of governance without any sense of shame in her display of pantomimic violence; constantly remaining pernicious the percentage rate of past memories and history whether told, retold and or hidden to cause discomfort is in the high 90s. We cannot solve the Nigerian problems by shying away from the truth. It is our reality. It happened to us. We have every right to know them in order to avoid its perpetration.

    If I were you, I will be very grateful to Chimamnda for putting her talents to work. Many have hidden theirs especially our evil politicians and men and women of purported goodwill. Our people have had their toll of suffering and crying and begging for rescue. But there seems to be response. I would not be surprise if nature will definitely take its cause.

    • red

      May 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Sweetie you said it all,there is nothing to add or subtract,let me just add that they are promoting the movie indirectly for Chidinnma,Now those that have no interest to watch it before will love to get movie and novel by all means to know what they are trying to hide.

      Come to think of it,if that movie was all about fake life and abusing women nobody will think twice,NOW IS BEEN CIRCLED AS TRIBAL ISSUE.If we have nothing to hide,that our hands are clean,then let’s give the go ahead order for people to watch and learn from our mistakes and prevent it from ever repeating itself again.WELL,am not surprise at all,I told my sister to accept this politics they are playing right now after watching the preview here in naijagist,naija never disappoint me in negative things.Now we want to bury everything and stand as one? chei! Evil,Evil it will never be well with you and your generation.

      • Fairness

        May 5, 2014 at 2:30 AM

        @ Red, you remain the best here. Thank you for invaluable insight.

        • red

          May 5, 2014 at 3:27 PM

          Aww,that’s so sweet Fairness.I should be the one to say thank you.Thank you so much dear for everything.

  7. james

    May 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    The Civil war and its history remains an evil forest but i promise you that one day the evil forest will be an express road, if you lock a room and warned your child not to open it, one day he will do that in the presents of your vistors,shame to the so called Nigeria and the censor board, shame to those who greet goodevening while it is still early in the morning,shame to those who see evil as good and good as evil, if this film is to cause trouble in Nigeria, i dont think that the Western world will allow it to be released and watched all over the world,i believe the the film will be released sonnest and no body will hide the truth, you may deney it but it will surly come to pass.

  8. Viergelove

    May 4, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    There is no secret in Nigeria!
    We all know what is, what has happened and what may eventually happen.
    The BIAFRAM escaped is not something new, any reasonable Nigerian knew what happened. Thus, some of you should not try to think as though there is something covered up, and that needed to be revealed.
    If we really want to go by objective reasoning, we will come to the conclusion that the BIAFRAM adventure was treason.

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