The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

2019

4/5
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Summary

“The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind,” tells the true story of William Kamkwamba; the young Malawian genius who built a windmill entirely via DIY methods in the early 2000s, to save his family and village from drought and famine.

Production: Netflix

Direction: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Starring: Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga, Lily Banda, Lemogang Tsipa, Philbert Falakeza

Release Date: Mar 1, 2019

Genre: Drama

Run time: 113 minutes

Rating: 4/5

Review

“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is based on a true story about a 13-year-old boy, William Kamkwamba, who lives in an impoverished village devastated by a famine in Malawi, Africa.

In the film, William is kicked out of school because his family can no longer afford the cost. He begins sneaking into the library where he learns how to build a windmill in hope of bringing water to his village, and eventually saving them from the drought and political riots taking place against the government.

The story talks about the political upheaval in Africa at the time that William and his family lost their land to the government and their grain to another city. The family is at a point where only one person can eat per day and rain hasn’t fallen in months, preventing the plants from growing. People became desperate, and some died.

A majority of the film is in Chichewa, which is a commonly spoken language in Malawi. Due to this, most scenes in the movie include subtitles, but throughout, different Chichewa words would appear on the screen with their English translation underneath, which made the film an interesting experience. The words correlated with the movie, such as “hunger” and “harvest.”

At the end of the film, it explains what happened to William and his family. William is granted a scholarship to continue his education and eventually graduates from Dartmouth College in America. His windmill went viral and led William to give a TED talk on his story. William continuously sends money and brings more engineering back to his village where his family still lives and his sister is married to a professor with children.

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