33-year-old Nigerian author, Uzodinma Iweala, is a sociologist and physician who during the formation of his thesis work at Harvard came up with his debut novel Beasts of No Nation. The book was published in 2005 and has received several considerable critical acclaim from sources like Time Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Times, and Rolling Stone. The story is set in an unnamed African country during a civil war. A young orphaned boy after being separated from his family is forced to join a military group along with other youngsters where they are trained to fight, kill and avenge the death of their loved ones. The story portrays how these innocents transform from good to bad to deadly under the supervision of their master. Being a much talked about literary piece of art, and an interesting one, American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, Netflix, saw the novel intriguing and worthy of adaptation, they decided to adapt it for their first feature movie Beasts of No Nation.
The son of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Uzodinma Iweala, did a great job in the narration of the war scenarios in Beasts of No Nation and his expertise in writing paid off in the easy interpretation of the novel into a screen play. The Netflix adapted movie was shot in Ghana and features 14-year-old Ghanaian vendor, Abraham Attah, who was randomly cast from the streets of Accra and won the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, for his outstanding role as Agu, the orphaned boy. The movie also features half Ghanaian, half Sierra Leonean, Hollywood actor, Idris Elba and other Ghanaian actors and actresses like Ama K. Abebrese, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe.
This movie is something to anticipate as its author has an incredible reputation. Uzodinma Iweala who attended Albans School in Washington D.C. and also Harvard College, earned the Hoopes Prize and Dorothy Hicks Lee Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis, 2004; Eager Prize for Best Undergraduate Short Story, 2003; and the Horman Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing, 2003. He is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, class of 2011 and is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He has also won the New York Public Library’s 2006 Young Lions Fiction Award. In 2007, he was named as one of Granta magazine’s 20 best young American novelists. With all the western orientation of this fast rising Nigerian author, one will wonder where Uzo drew the inspiration to write about an orphaned African Agu in a war era. His mother would have played a major role in the birthing of this work.
Just a week ago, Netflix released the official trailer for the movie Beasts of No Nation. It will be officially released in movie theaters across various countries on October 16 2015. WATCH OUT!
Watch The Official Trailer Of The Movie Beasts of No Nation as written by Uzodinma Iweala and directed by Cary Fukunaga.