Opinion: Frank thoughts on the non-certification of Half of a Yellow Sun movie in Nigeria

by Henry Onyema

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The physical shooting ended in 1970 but the war continues by other means. I should be proven wrong with the unbanning of this film in Nigeria. But no matter what the clowns and goons do, the film is beyond their grasp. The truth lives. 

I am disgusted,angry but not surprised by the song and dance being played by the Nigerian Films Censors Board over the movie ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun.’ So the scenes are too sexual? Are they worse than the dozens of pornographic movies okayed by the Board that flood our markets? So they are too political? Because they seem tilted towards Biafra which was the heart of most of the film? Why are we so afraid of Nigeria between 1966 and 1970?

If the so-called offensive parts are deleted, then it is better the entire movie is removed from our screens. Why are we so frightened of facing the truth of our chequered existence in Nigeria? So because of comments like those by Governor Nyako we prevent our children from facing the sad truth of their history. I have read the novel; I am a professional historian and writer and I can boldly declare the following:

Adichie’s book, though well researched, is fiction. Thus it, and the movie, should be seen in such light. It is just like taking Alex Haley’s ROOTS as a Bible of the trans-Atlantic slave trade;

The Boko Haram madness is no reason for the censorship. It is an excuse; the censors are pussyfooting to fanatics and bigots who want a world created in their image. Also, architects of the madness of 1966 and the civil war are alive and in positions of power. They do not want a searing indictment because most youngsters, though no fan of the book, will cash in on the hype to see the movie. They have a sense of kinship with the young author, Adichie.

The physical shooting ended in 1970 but the war continues by other means. I should be proven wrong with the unbanning of this film in Nigeria. But no matter what the clowns and goons do, the film is beyond their grasp. The truth lives. The rest of the world are seeing it. Our children will have access to it. Censorship is the road to superstardom. Remember Dan Brown and his novel ‘The Da Vinci Code?’

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

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