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May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Half of a Yellow Sun, a critically acclaimed film starring 12 Years a Slave Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor set during the Nigerian civil war 40 years ago, has effectively been banned in Nigeria, the Associated Press reported today (Thursday). The premiere of the movie in Lagos had been set for April 25, but on the 24th, the National Film and Video Censor Board told distributors that it had not passed the registration process. The controversy occurs amid a background of renewed tensions between the Islamic north and Christian south in the country. The film’s director, Biyi Bandele told the Associated Press on Thursday that he spoke to the director general of the censorship board following a screening of the movie at the Toronto Film Festival in September. “She saw the movie and told us afterward how much she loved it and why [such] movies should be encouraged … She was very encouraging, very positive and did not at any time express any reservations about the film,” Bandele said. However, the A.P. noted that on its website, the board says that its mission includes ensuring that “objectionable materials capable of inciting civil strife is reduced or eliminated completely” and banning material that would “encourage racial, religious or ethnic discrimination or conflict.”