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Rated 3.06 stars
by 83 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Inherit the Windmill
by Betty Jo Tucker

Based on a true story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a movie that matters. We cheer for William (Maxwell Simba), the youngster who faces so many obstacles as he struggles to help solve a crisis that could mean the destruction of his family and entire community. Fortunately, the film ends up being inspirational but not sentimental – despite the suffering depicted in so many scenes.

Set in Africa’s Malawi, the movie shows what happened in a farming area during a long drought. Without rain to water crops, how could the people survive? While watching certain segments, my lips actually felt parched. Film realism at its best!            

Although William is expelled from his school for lack of funds, he comes up with an idea about how to draw water from the well. All he needs to start his project is a bicycle. Unfortunately, that becomes a monumental problem, one that causes a serious rift between William and his father (Chiwetel Ejiofor/12 Years a Slave).   

Ejiofor directed, adapted William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s book, and stars in this remarkable offering. His brilliant performance as a concerned but sometimes rigid father should be considered during the 2019 awards season.         

Soak up the atmosphere and place

as people run the famine race.

Starvation faces everyone.

What, if anything, can be done?


A young boy knows the answer here.

Old-fashioned thinking is his fear.

Will he be brave and save the day

despite his father who says nay?


The lad could be a hero now

if others help him show them how.

Suspenseful with a feel-good touch,

this movie you will love so much!

Interesting sub-plots, convincing performances by all cast members, and atmospheric cinematography by Dick Pope (Mr. Turner) help draw us into the world of William Kamkwamba. And we can’t help feeling inspired by the  courage of one young boy who persisted with his inventive idea.   

Congratulations to Chiwetel Ejiofor for finding this humanistic story and making sure it became a movie for everyone to see!  I look forward to many more films under his direction.

  To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. --- Thomas Edison

If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. --- Tony Robbins

(Released by Netflix; rated TV-PG.)

For more information about The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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