Chiwetel Ejiofor writes, directs and stars in this adaptation of the true story of William Kamkwamba a young boy who lives in a village in Malawi, that finds itself left to die as it is ravished by drought, leading to impending famine and a government that through its own financial mismanagement will not come to its aide.
The true story of Kamkwamba, a young bright boy who refuses to be beaten by the situation and the obstacles placed in front of him, is incredible enough that it doesn’t need any movie theatrics to tell it and in Ejiofor’s directorial debut we get a beautifully patient telling of this uplifting tale.
The film is purposely patient in setting the scene, showing how the situation slowly gets worse and how a whole community find themselves in a catastrophic situation not one caused by a single huge impact event, but one inflicted a small incident at a time. Ejiofor does an excellent job of building the tension with an oppressive stress engulfing the story.
Throughout Maxwell Simba’s William is a shining beacon of hope, determination and desire to make a difference, with a wonderful performance upon which the film is built.
While the film seems melodic and patient as we enter the final act you suddenly find yourself swept away, wrapped up in the situation the village finds itself in, a situation that most of us will never know and then carried away with a wondefully emotional and uplifting finale.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an enthralling story, beautifully told and performed and in these still trying times for many, a great example of how human innovation can often overcome the most bleak of challenges.