‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ Trailer: Lots of Promise Marred by Schmaltzy Editing

With only a little more than a month before the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicks off, more and more marketing campaigns have sprung up for the films premiering at the festival. First came Twelve Years a Slave and The Fifth Estate; now Half of a Yellow Sun is the latest TIFF premiere to debut its first trailer. Check it out after the jump.

Half of a Yellow Sun is based off Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel of the same name, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. The story follows two sisters in Nigeria whose lives (as well as the lives of those around them) are rocked by the Nigerian-Biafran War, which rager from 1967–1970.

This trailer, like so many, many others, suffers at the hands of cheese-laden title cards. Granted, narration would undoubtedly be worse (much worse), but platitudes like “committed to freedom” and “displaced by conflict” don’t tell us anything that’s not abundantly clear from the footage on display (and that footage does look rather impressive). Still, it doesn’t help that this trailer seemingly gives away the vast majority of the plot- multiple infidelities are shown that would seem like late-story reveals.

Of course, trailers aren’t everything. The film is loaded down with talented names: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and John Boyega (of Attack the Block), with acclaimed playwright Biyi Bandele at the helm. Presumably they have more to offer than the trailer does.

Half of a Yellow Sun stars Ejiofor, Newton and Boyega as well as Anika Noni Rose and Joseph Mawle. As of now it has no release date.

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