The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind – A Simple Yet Hard-Hitting Narration Of An Extraordinary Talent

Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor

The movie is what the title suggests, a story of a Malawian boy who built a windmill to save his village and his family from famine. Based on a true story of Malawian innovator and author William Kamkwamba, this movie is simple, poignant and truly inspiring.

Set in the rural Malawi where drought and famine are severely affecting agriculture, this film well establishes the living condition and the struggle that the residents of this village face on a day to day basis. 

William Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) is a regular kid with an unusual talent for fixing electronic equipments. His passion for learning and creating is obvious from the very beginning.

In a world where education is a basic requirement, it is heartbreaking to see a kid of William’s calibre being prevented from attending school after his father fails to pay his tuition fees. His determination is extraordinary and reflects in his efforts to learn from the books in the school library and rummaging through scrap to build a windmill.

Debutant Director (Chiwetel Ejiofor) plays William’s father Trywell, who is constantly finding ways to provide for his family. Where it is difficult to survive each day, Trywell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and William’s mother Agnes (Aïssa Maïga) are trying their best to educate their children and see them attend the university.

However, things take a drastic turn when in the need to survive the famine, residents turn to loot each other for food. Crooked politics, barren land and increasing grain prices result in residents abandoning the village in hope of finding a better place to live. What seems like basic necessity are beyond the reach of an ordinary man in the village.

It is aching to see how William’s family survives the crises by having a single meal each day. What keeps William afloat is his passion and his will to build a windmill that he believes will save his village from a devastating future. However, things get difficult when William shares his idea with his father who refuses to believe it.  

It is not always a twist in the tale that makes for a good film but the little things that are presented with authenticity.  The writer and director have done a fabulous job of weaving each scene with utmost care.

The film shows the external struggle to survive the crises and the internal struggle of each of its characters to not fail their family. Trywell is a man to go lengths to prevent his land from perishing, his will trembles at times but he still stands strong to keep going.

Amidst such difficult times, William doesn’t succumb to the depleting situation but rises above by putting his heart and soul in creating what he has set his mind at. If this wouldn’t have been a true story it would have been difficult to believe how perseverance and determination can change the course of time.  

If you haven’t already, make this to your ‘Netflix films list’ to watch this weekend.

Watch the trailer here:

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