THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND (2019)
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Aissa Maiga, Lilly Banda
Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Plot: A boy in Malawi helps his village by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book. This is a true story based on William Kamkwamba.
In his debut as a director, Chiwetel Ejiofor has delivered an emotional, adrenaline filled movie to the theatres. The movie is fulfilling, filled with a lot of new faces like Maxwell Simba, and new to big screens, Malawian actress Lilly Banda.
Based on a true story of William Kamkwamba and his book with the same title, the movie follows William’s family, their financial hardships as well as the whole village cause by a famine. William, using his knowledge from reading a science book in his school library, works together with the remaining residents of his village to build a windmill which helps them harvest all year round.
The movie is both entertaining and eye-opening. With its genuineness on the life struggles of the Kamkwamba family and the village they belonged to relates to the life struggles of what a lot of Malawians are going through, more especially those in farming families. The costumes for the movie were also greatly thought for, perfectly mimicking how a Malawian villager dresses in their everyday life.
What also stole attention was the Chichewa in the film. Chichewa being the official Malawian language, was the most used language of the movie. This is one of the things I and a lot more others were anxious of, seeing as there was an uproar when the trailer had come out. However, the Chichewa was actually at par, making a lot marvel at the actors and actresses who had a limited time to learn the language. And hey, they were more audible than our president (bants).
For Malawians, the movie gave us a chance to relate on the lack of change that has happened in our political system since possibly 2005. The use of violence for political intimidation as it was seen with the beating of the chief, the shortages of food supplies due to government’s lack of planning. It is also lesson enough that the education system in the country favors those in the upper or middle class and not those that are in the lower class bracket. Making one to wonder what different type of talents and gems are hidden in our rural areas that are failing to flourish due to the systematic oppression.
A question I asked myself after finishing the movie for the 3rd time was:
with such great innovation that William inspired, why does Malawi not have windmills spread across the country?
We are already living in a time where water and electricity are scarce, our taps are mostly dry and we sleep in the dark. If we were to build more windmills, imagine what it would do to Ntcheu where they spend days without a drop of water in their taps. Imagine what it would do to our dying agricultural industry? How many volts would we harvest?
This movie needs to be our learning spot. Thank God, it came out before elections, so good time to pour in questions.
True to the story, this movie will make you cry, laugh a bit, but entertainingly gut-wrenching with a happy ending. It is worth the 113minutes of your time.
Watch the movie on Netflix and tell me what you think by commenting below.